September 22, 2008 —
Back to school can mean back to stress for your teenage children. As they get older, they face more expectations in the classroom and participate in more extracurricular activities. It's a lot to balance every day.
As parents, we feel it, too. It is not always easy to get our kids up in the morning, make sure they get a healthy breakfast, and get them out the door in time. After school, there are sports, homework, school activities, and dinner.
Altogether, that's a lot handle.
It makes it the perfect time to approach your teens and talk with them about the ways they deal with stress. There are many different ways to cope with the pressures of a new school year. Some of them are healthy, like sports, music, or volunteering. But, there are unhealthy ways, too.
I bring this up because of a new study released by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America earlier this month. To cope with stress, kids sometimes turn to unhealthy habits like substance abuse. New statistics from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America say that 73 percent of teens listed school stress as the number one reason that drugs are abused.
As parents, it's important we talk to our kids about the stress they are feeling and alternative ways of dealing with it. Initiating this conversation is as important as waking our kids up in the morning and getting them to school on time. Whether it's in the car on the way to practice or sitting at the dinner table, talk to them about the stress in their lives and how they're dealing with it.
Let your kids know that you're aware of the pressures they face. Just by starting the conversation, you could be making all the difference.