Stress Free Kids® founder Lori Lite has created a line of books and CDs designed to help children, teens, and adults decrease stress, anxiety, and anger. As a parent, Lori spent two hours every single night trying to settle her young son down to sleep. Her daughter developed stress related night terrors and Lori herself became sick from anxiety. In an effort to help her family she created a story for her children that would entertain them while introducing them to research-based relaxation techniques. That moment began a journey that now includes 8 books, 6 CDs, and 2 curriculums. Ms. Lite’s books, CDs, and curriculums are considered a resource for parents, psychologists, therapists, child life specialists, teachers, and yoga instructors. Her Indigo Dreams™ audio book/CD series has been awarded the CNE Award of Excellence. Ms. Lite has been interviewed and written articles for several media outlets, including: Family Circle, NY Times, MSNBC, ABC Radio; CBS News; USA Today; Web MD; Stress Free Living; Mind, Body, and Soul; and Job Club with Tory Johnson. She has also been featured in several publications which include Prevention Magazine, Parent Guide New York, Family Circle, Kiwi Magazine, and Aspiring Woman. Lori is a certified children’s meditation facilitator and Sears’ Manage My Life parenting expert. She gained national attention when she appeared on Shark Tank, an ABC/Mark Burnett production.
Teenagers with unmanaged stress are more likely to use drugs and alcohol. Parents need to be aware, get involved, and trust their instinct. Most parents remember their own teenage years as a volatile time marked by the struggle for independence, the forging of identity, and the process of emotional and physical maturation. Dating, peer pressure, academics, sports, changing family dynamics, the economy, and our fast paced schedules all add to today’s stressors. Teenagers are living ever-more complex lives in a society that increasingly treats them as younger adults. It is important for parents to recognize the causes of teen stress and take measures to relieve or combat it. The American Psychology Association reports that 86 percent of tweens and 74 percent of teens state that they are comfortable talking to their parents about the things that cause them stress. Let’s get our teens talking and reducing stress.
1. Remember that stress is contagious, but so is calm. Demonstrate relaxation and positive statements in your parenting routine.
2. Talk to your teen. Figure out when their guard is most likely to be down and use that time to communicate.
3. Stay up and have a late night snack with your teen. Teens may be more talkative at night and in the kitchen.
4. Share stories about challenges you experienced as a teen and how you handled it. Make sure to share the mistakes you made. Teens are more likely to share their challenges after a story than a direct question.
5. Give your teens more freedom, but keep clear boundaries. A teen without rules is a teen with much stress.
6. Schedule downtime with your teen. Go for lunch, horseback riding, or shoot hoops. Take them out of their usual environment. You’ll be surprised how your teen will let their walls down doing something outdoors.
7. Pay attention to what you say to your teen. Take a break from criticizing and correcting. Give your teen a compliment each day.
8. Expose your teen to relaxation techniques like diaphragmatic breathing, visualizing, progressive muscular relaxation, and positive statements. Indigo Teen Dreams introduces teenagers to stress and anger management.
9. Help your teen with time management and balancing their schedules. Be sure to include downtime.
10. Discuss the future and address specific changes like job loss or divorce with your teen. Explain how this will impact your teen’s life and talk it through to a positive hopeful outcome.
Labeling stress as ‘just being a teen’ both unfairly discounts the difficulty of the teenage years and can obscure the telltale signs of damaging teen stress. Parents might notice their teen is stressed if they see that their teen is easily agitated, overactive, confused, afraid, angry, sad, anxious or withdrawn. A preoccupation with a traumatic event, withdrawal from family and friends, sleep disturbances and physical complaints can all be indicators of stress.
Teens can also help manage their own stress levels, by making a homework plan, scheduling downtime, exercising regularly, eating healthy, communicating with parents, creating supportive positive friendships, and getting plenty of sleep. Parents should encourage this behavior whenever possible and model living life in balance.
Stress Free Kids® founder Lori Lite has created a line of books and CDs designed to help children, teens, and adults decrease stress, anxiety, and anger. Ms. Lite’s books, CDs, and lesson plans are considered a resource for parents, psychologists, therapists, child life specialists, teachers, and yoga instructors. Lori is a certified children’s meditation facilitator and Sears’ Manage My Life parenting expert. For more information visit Stress Free Kids and for daily advice follow Lori on Twitter and Facebook.
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