And We Thought We Had It Tough: Today's Teens & Adult Level Stress
You know, as an adult and a parent myself, it can be difficult at times to put into perspective the amount of stress our kids and teens face today. Though I didn't have to walk uphill both ways to school in the driving snow, as my parents generation had to do, our generation of parents have our own story:
Back in the Day
We remember the time when the very first gaming system came out and you couldn't talk to friends online while we were playing. It was the days of attempting to seek privacy while talking on the phone to your girlfriend or boyfriend and stretching the cord as far as it could go. The cell phone of our day was the size of a brick and it didn't come with a screen. If a friend wasn't home, we actually had to leave a message with their parents and WAIT until they returned home to get the message before they called back. Our geography report for school required us to use the set of Encyclopedia Britannica that could have been 10+ years old at the time. Yes my fellow parents, those days were rough!
Our Kids Have it Easy!
We look at the conveniences of today and in many ways, think how easy our kids have it. The world is literally at their finger tips. Gaming systems of today mean that the new playground is online and they can connect with friends in a blink of an eye. Cell phones provide quick and easy access to friends and family and if they don't answer we text and typically get a response right away. The internet has made us a more interconnected group of humans more so than at any other time in history.
We are also blessed to live in a community that boast some of the best schools across this great state as well as in the nation. We live in a community of families that are wildly successful and high achievers who set great examples for the rising generation. Many teens in our community rub shoulders with C-Suite professionals and are able to see that success is attainable, not just something they see on TV or on the internet, but seeing the neighbors next door.
Teens Today Under More Stress Than Adults
Yet, teens today are under more pressure and stress than teens in previous generations. American teens today say they experience stress in patterns similar to adults and during the school year they report stress levels even higher than those reported by adults - and the stress is only increasing.
Our schools are competitive. It is widely known that to get accepted to a high quality college, our teen has to rank in the top 10% of his/her class. With a senior class size in 2019 of 798 at Seven Lakes High School, that means our teen(s) needs to be in the top 80 kids to be considered - then there are the SAT scores to consider on top of that. Add in time with studying, competitive sports, music lessons, volunteering, church, working, etc., it is no surprise our teens feel as stressed out as their parents.
I haven't even mentioned the comparing our kids do with social media and the exceptionally high standard of perfectionism that results by comparing their insides (how they feel) to other people's outsides (how others present themselves) and the devastating impact this is having on, primarily, teen girls self-esteem and the sky rocketing rates of anxiety that is occurring among this group (a blog for next time). Or the bullying that used to end once they entered the hallowed doors of our homes but now continues due to social media -- no refuge from the bullying storm as there had been in the past (you guessed it, a topic for another upcoming blog).
Signs My Teen is Struggling
Though each of the next generations will talk about how rough they may have had it as teens, we are living in a unique period of time where the pressures on our teens are unlike anything prior generations have experienced (the only exception being those teens during war time).
What are some signs your teen may be struggling? Some common signs are changes in behavior such as isolating, spending time not connecting on social media but escaping on social media, becoming angry or oppositional, feeling down or sad more days than not. In general, what you should be looking for is a noticeable and/or dramatic shift in their personality that lasts over time.
They may be subtle signs or quite overt. If you are observing similar signs in your teen, reach out to Katy Teen & Family Counseling today and let us help. It is much better to address these challenges early on than wait, hoping it's just a phase, that it will get better with time, only to find out the challenges become more intense and entrenched.
Reach out today and talk with one of our caring specialists in teen counseling and family therapy. We have dedicated our careers in working with teens and families and stand by to help you. All you need to do to start this journey of healing is follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling
Talk with one of our talented teen counselors or family therapist
Walk with us as we utilize our expertise in helping your teen and family accomplish the goals you set out to accomplish
Neurofeedback Therapy for Teen ADHD
How to Begin Teen Therapy or Family Counseling
To begin teen therapy or family counseling, simply contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling through our website or by calling 346-202-4662. Our Owner and Lead Clinician answers each phone call to help match you with the right therapist for you teen and family.
About the Author
Jason Drake is a Licensed Clinical Worker. He is a Specialist in Teen Therapy & Family Counseling. He has provided therapy to teens and families since 2003. Through his expertise, he helps teens who struggle with depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD/ADD, and PTSD. He works with talented teen athletes who have experience mental blocks. Gifted students have unique challenges that Jason understands well. Jason uses CBT, EMDR, Neurofeedback, FFT, and Motivational Interviewing. We only work with teens and families which allows us to focus on what teens and families of today need. Resolving the struggles of today can assure a more successful tomorrow. Proudly serving Katy, Tx and Houston.