The school year is drawing to a close, and along with that can come anxiety and stress for adolescents. Exams, sports, clubs, and end of the year festivities can make a teen's life extremely busy, leaving them unsure how to handle it all.
Dr. Lisa Lowery, Section Chief of Helen DeVos Children's Hospital's Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine discusses what parents can do to help their teens cope with end-of-the-year stress.
Parents should always been on the look-out for the following signs when end of school stress comes up:
- Emotional changes: getting angry or crying easily.
- Change in eating habits: eating a lot or not eating enough.
- Sleep patterns are disrupted or altered.
- Consumption of things that help them focus or stay awake such as energy drinks or medication.
If any of these signs or new habits occur, parents should sit down with their child and have a conversation about the situation. Parents should talk about their concerns, and listen to their child about why they're going through these changes. Keep in mind that these topics may be hard for teens to talk about, especially with their parents. To wrap it up, work together to come up with solutions on how to cope with the stress.
Dealing with stress isn't just a end-of-the-year problem, it often times is an all-year problem for students. As a parent, here are some things you can do with your kids to help prepare them for future school/life stressors:
- Make sure they know you love them and are proud of the work they are doing.
- Understand that stress can come from many different sources, and help them balance activities and schedules.
- Work with them to come up with solutions to stress.
- Remind them no test, grade, game or event is more important than their mental health.
Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine has their office located at 330 Barclay Avenue Northeast, Suite 203 in Grand Rapids.
For more information, visit helendevoschilrens.com/adolescentmedicine.