Stress and pressure are normal parts of life. They can push us to achieve more and do better. But too much stress and pressure can pose serious challenges for some teenagers, especially during this time of self-discovery as they grow into adulthood.
For teenagers, success and failure in school can be as close as the next paper, test or report card. When kids fail, they can feel that they are alone and that everybody else can do something they cannot. Even though you may know this isn’t true, it’s best not to dismiss your teenager’s feelings. As a parent, you can help by acknowledging your child’s feelings and taking them seriously.
• Talk about some of your own failures and what it feels like to fail or to be disappointed by someone you trust.
• Remind them that most of us learn more from our mistakes and failures than from our successes.
• Let them know that you care about him or her regardless of whether they succeed or failand that you respect their effort.
Fears and anxieties are normal. It’s the way an individual deals with them that makes a difference. If we focus too much on fears and anxiety, they can control our lives.
The RBC Children’s Mental Health Project provides a number of trusted resources available for parents at www.rbc.com/childrensmentalhealth. These tips were drafted with the assistance of Ceridian Canada, the company’s employee assistance provider.