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How to Resolve Family Conflict with Teens

Posted by Sue Scheff on September 28, 2021  /   Posted in Featured Article, Parenting Teens, Teen Help

Are you struggling with family conflict in your home?

Does your teen make you feel like your walking on eggshells?

You’re not alone!

Help Your Teens BigstockAngerTeen-300x194 How to Resolve Family Conflict with Teens Conflict can happen when family members, especially teenagers, have different views (wants or needs) or beliefs that clash. Sometimes conflict can occur when people misunderstand each other and jump to the wrong conclusion. Issues of conflict that are not resolved peacefully can lead to arguments and resentment.

It is normal to disagree with each other from time to time. Occasional conflict is part of family life. However, ongoing conflict can be stressful and damaging to relationships. Some people find it difficult to manage their feelings and become intentionally hurtful, aggressive or even violent.

Communicating in a positive way with your teen can help reduce conflict so that family members can reach a peaceful resolution. This usually means that everyone agrees to a compromise or agrees to disagree.

Sometimes, strong emotions or the power imbalances that can be present in relationships are difficult to resolve and can only be addressed in a counselling situation.

Common causes of family conflict

It is well recognized that some of the stages a family goes through can cause conflict. These may include:

  • Learning to live as a new couple (new step-parents)
  • Birth of a baby (new siblings)
  • Birth of other children
  • A child going to school (changing schools)
  • A child becoming a young person (puberty)
  • A young person becoming an adult.

Each of these stages can create new and different stresses and potential conflict.

Changes in the family situation can also take a toll on the family and contribute to conflict.

This may include events such as:

  • Separation or divorce
  • Moving to a new house or country
  • Travelling long distances to work
  • Commuting interstate for work.
  • Change in financial circumstances.

All of these common events can impact a teen’s young emotional life as much as a parent will try to make the transistion seamless.

Agreeing to negotiate

Help Your Teens BigStockMomTeenConcern-300x207 How to Resolve Family Conflict with Teens Usually, our first angry impulse is to push the point that we are right and win the argument at any cost. Finding a peaceful resolution can be difficult, if not impossible, when both parties stubbornly stick to their guns. It helps if everyone decides as a family to try listening to each other and negotiating instead.

Suggestions include:

  • Work out if the issue is worth fighting over.
  • Try to separate the problem from the person.
  • Try to cool off first if you feel too angry to talk calmly.
  • Keep in mind that the idea is to resolve the conflict, not win the argument.
  • Remember that the other party isn’t obliged to always agree with you on everything.
  • Define the problem and stick to the topic.
  • Respect the other person’s point of view by paying attention and listening.
  • Talk clearly and reasonably.
  • Try to find points of common ground.
  • Agree to disagree (within reason with a teen).

Try to listen

Conflict can escalate when the people involved are too angry to listen to each other. Misunderstandings fuel arguments. Suggestions include:

  • Try to stay calm.
  • Try to put emotions aside.
  • Don’t interrupt the other person while they are speaking.
  • Actively listen to what they are saying and what they mean.
  • Check that you understand them by asking questions.
  • Communicate your side of the story clearly and honestly.
  • Resist the urge to bring up other unresolved but unrelated issues.

Work as a team

Once both parents and teen understand the views and feelings of the other, you hopefully can work out a solution together.

Suggestions include:

  • Come up with as many possible solutions as you can.
  • Be willing to compromise.
  • Make sure everyone clearly understands the chosen solution.
  • Once the solution is decided on, stick to it.
  • Write it down as a ‘contract’, if necessary.

Professional advice

There are services available to help family members work through difficult issues of conflict. Seek professional advice if you think you need some assistance. A local therapist through your insurance provider or a referral from a friend or family doctor could help get you started.

If your teen continues to cause contention and conflict in your home, it might be time to consider resources such as residential therapy to determine where their anger is stemming from.

Order the new best selling book on family conflict, Fault Lines.

Contact us for more information.

Source: BetterHealth

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How Instagram Could Be Damaging to Teens

Posted by Sue Scheff on September 21, 2021  /   Posted in Featured Article, Parenting Teens

Facebook Knew Instagram Could Be Damaging to Teens

Help Your Teens PexelGirlOnlineCellPhone-195x300 How Instagram Could Be Damaging to Teens The tech giant has studied how the app affects youth.

  • An article in The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook’s own documents found Instagram to be damaging to teens.
  • A 2017 survey, published by the U.K.’s Royal Society for Public Health, found Instagram to be “worst social media network for mental health.”
  • Seeing others “edited to perfection” can be challenging for teens who may struggle with self-esteem or are vulnerable to social approval.

When one of my daughters was about 13 years old, I took her to a Teen Vogue event at our local mall. Afterward, she started getting a Teen Vogue magazine in the mail each month. One Saturday morning she walked into the kitchen with a stack of them and asked, “Will you please take these away? I don’t think looking at pictures of perfect girls is good for me.”

This incident predates Instagram, the social media network owned by Facebook that enjoys 500 million+ active users daily and is used by 76 percent of U.S. teens. Whereas my daughter was troubled by perhaps a few dozen images in a magazine she might have leafed through once or twice a month, today’s teens are literally barraged with such images daily—some even spend hours a day using this app.

What brought the memory of my daughter back was a recent article in The Wall Street Journal titled, “Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show.” The article reports that “(f)or the past three years, Facebook has been conducting studies into how its photo-sharing app affects its millions of young users.” Facebook’s own researchers “found that Instagram is harmful for a sizable percentage of them, most notably teenage girls.”

By reviewing internal documents produced by Instagram (Facebook), The Wall Street Journal‘s reporters found these statements in a company slide presentation from 2019: “We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls” and “Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression… This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.”

Perhaps the most disturbing revelation in the WSJ article was this:

“Among teens who reported suicidal thoughts, 13 percent of British users and 6 percent of American users traced the desire to kill themselves to Instagram, one presentation showed.”

This News is Not New

To me, what’s most irritating about this revelation is that it’s old news. While writing my book a few years ago, I referenced a 2017 #StatusOfMind survey, published by the United Kingdom’s Royal Society for Public Health, that predates and mirrors Facebook’s own findings. Surveying almost 1,500 teens and young adults, the study found Instagram (along with Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter) to be associated with high levels of depression, bullying, and FOMO, the “fear of missing out.”

Instagram, where personal photos or selfies (often carefully staged or touched up) rule, was discovered to be “the worst social media network for mental health and well-being.” A teen respondent to the survey wrote, “Instagram easily makes girls and women feel as if their bodies aren’t good enough, as people add filters and edit their pictures in order for them to look ‘perfect.’”

“Instagram culture creates an environment that rewards perfection,” says Dr. Pamela Rutledge, Director of the Media Psychology Research Center. According to Rutledge:

“The trouble is, when people look, they forget that many of these images are not real and it creates unattainable expectations and beauty ideals. Our brains are wired to react as if virtual images were real. We are hardwired to compare ourselves to others. This had some evolutionary benefit as it was how people learned to navigate the social environment. It has little benefit on social media when we use it to judge ourselves against imaginary, often unattainable goals. This is particularly harmful to teens who already struggle with self-esteem and are vulnerable to social approval.”

Photoshop is So Five Minutes Ago

Today, a digitally perfect body or face is just a few clicks away, thanks to the ubiquity and ease of use of new “editing” apps. One of the most popular is “Facetune.” According to its own website, Facetune is the #1 self-editing app in the world, used by over 100 million worldwide. With this app, users can “(s)mooth skin, whiten teeth, swipe away blemishes, contour features, add makeup…” and more.

Facetune, which experienced a 20 percent increase in usage at the start of the pandemic, sees 1 million to 1.5 million retouched photos exported every single day. It is so widely used that the word itself is used interchangeably with “edit… in much the same way “Photoshop” was used by the generation before.

According to the study “Selfies-Living in the Era of Filtered Photographs,” a direct correlation exists between the proliferation of digitally manipulated selfies and body dysmorphic disorder, an under-diagnosed mental health condition causing sufferers to obsess over minor or imagined defects in their appearance.

Researchers at Boston University who conducted the study warn that Facetune and similar apps “are making us lose touch with reality because we expect to look perfectly primped and filtered in real life as well,” which can cause serious psychological harm.

What exacerbates the situation further is the Instagram (Facebook) algorithm. It feeds users more of what it thinks they like or have expressed interest in. In other words, if a teen looks at health, beauty, diet, or similar posts, they are likely to be bombarded with more of the same kinds of posts every time they open the app.

What Can Parents Do?

Help Your Teens BigFatherDaughterOnline2-300x198 How Instagram Could Be Damaging to Teens Don’t wait for your daughter (or son) to walk into the kitchen asking you to take Instagram away. Chances are that’s not going to happen because the app isn’t just feeding them images that might promote self-loathing—teens are also using it in a myriad of (and sometimes really awesome) ways. They might be communicating with friends, sharing life updates, learning about current events, sharing inspiring or funny images, or advocating for causes they care about.

There is even an ever-growing community of Instagram users with huge followings who are calling attention to touched-up content and unattainable images of beauty. One of my favorites is @beauty.false who has over 1.2M followers. If you have an Instagram-using teen, ask them if they have heard of or follow this or similar accounts.

Finally, if you need a checklist to help you address this problem, here’s a very short and easy-to-follow list:

  1. Spend a little time exploring Instagram yourself, but remember what you see has been curated specifically for you.
  2. Talk to your teen about Instagram.
  3. Listen (non-judgmentally) to what your teen has to say about Instagram.

By Diana Graber, founder of CyberCivics author of Raising Humans in a Digital World.

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Rates of Teen Suicide and Suicidal Ideation Surge –Tied to Pandemic

Posted by Sue Scheff on September 11, 2021  /   Posted in Featured Article, Teen Depression, Teen Help, Teen Suicide Prevention

Parents, teens and mental health: Suicide ideation rates nearly double since the pandemic

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sep 10, 2021–

Help Your Teens PexelsSadGirl-211x300 Rates of Teen Suicide and Suicidal Ideation Surge –Tied to Pandemic Suicide is the second leading cause of death for teens and young adults, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teens are of growing concern with rates of suicidal ideation and attempts nearly twice as high compared to pre- pandemic times.

ComPsych, the world’s largest provider of integrated behavioral health and well-being services, has seen a double-digit increase in calls related to anxiety and depression worries with their teens and a 35% spike in corporate requests for employee suicide awareness and prevention training.

“The teen mental health crisis is one of the most pressing challenges of our time and as the pandemic continues, we can see the confluence of crisis exacerbate anxiety, depression and thoughts of suicide,” said Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz, Founder, Chairman and CEO of ComPsych. “Resources are key in helping support people and preventing tragedy.”

A recent ComPsych Tell it Now ℠ poll reveals 49% of parents are concerned about the pressure, stress and anxiety their child is experiencing and don’t know how to help. Throughout September, National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, ComPsych will host interactive customer trainings and share digital suicide prevention toolkits and resources to amplify the conversation, break stigma and highlight warning signs and ways to help those who may be suffering.

Experts agree increased mental health challenges influenced by disruptions in daily life, social isolation and changes in peer interactions have had a significant impact on adolescents and young adults. According to the CDC, even before the pandemic began, the youth suicide rate in the United States was the highest in recorded history. While progress has been made in raising awareness around mental health and suicide prevention in the past few years, unfortunately, suicide is still heavily stigmatized.

“Suicide prevention does not start in the emergency room, it starts at home, and at work,” said Chaifetz. “Employers play an increasingly important role in supporting the mental health and well-being of their employees – and destigmatizing mental health is critical to addressing challenges and reversing the trend,” said Chaifetz.

Warning Signs

  • Behaving in a depressed manner
  • Having a peer who has committed suicide
  • Threatening or talking about killing oneself or others
  • Expressing no hope for the future
  • Being bullied by an individual or group of peers
  • Talking or behaving like no one cares or that life is hopeless
  • Making final preparations, such as giving away possessions, saying goodbyes
  • Abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Neglecting school performance
  • Being preoccupied with songs, movies or video games with violent or suicidal content

How to Help

Be sure to take action immediately if you suspect someone is suicidal. If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.

About ComPsych
ComPsych® Corporation is the world’s largest provider of employee assistance programs (EAP) and is the pioneer and worldwide leader of fully integrated EAP, behavioral health, wellness, work-life, HR, FMLA and absence management services under its GuidanceResources® brand. ComPsych provides services to more than 56,000 organizations covering more than 127 million individuals throughout the U.S. and 190 countries. By creating “Build-to-Suit” programs, ComPsych helps employers attract and retain employees, increase employee productivity and improve overall health and well-being. For more information, visit www.compsych.com and follow us @ComPsych on Twitter.
View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210910005289/en/
CONTACT: Jamie Stein
ComPsych Corporation
312-451-7160
jstein@compsych.com
KEYWORD: ILLINOIS UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA
INDUSTRY KEYWORD: MEN HEALTH ENTERTAINMENT FAMILY HUMAN RESOURCES CONSUMER PROFESSIONAL SERVICES MENTAL HEALTH TEENS PARENTING CHILDREN GENERAL HEALTH OTHER ENTERTAINMENT WOMEN
SOURCE: ComPsych
Copyright Business Wire 2021.
PUB: 09/10/2021 08:35 AM/DISC: 09/10/2021 08:36 AM
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Help Your Teen Beat School Stress: 8 Proven Strategies

Posted by Sue Scheff on September 01, 2021  /   Posted in Featured Article, Mental Health, Parenting Teens, Teen Depression, Teen Help

School: New stressors

Help Your Teens PexelTeenStress-196x300 Help Your Teen Beat School Stress: 8 Proven Strategies Our teens will experience stress many times in their lives. Short-term stressful situations are part of the normal course of life: they are natural and generally useful. But there is also stress that paralyzes the child, pressures him, and does not allow them to live and develop.

  • Excessive demands when the program does not correspond to the child’s abilities. 
  • Stressful tactics of pedagogical influence. The too-fast pace of work, hurtful nicknames and mockery; reprimanding a child in front of the whole class can become a childhood trauma. 
  • Inadequate pedagogical methods. 
  • Problems with the organization of the learning process. If a child has to reread what they were taught in class, if they don’t understand how to do the homework – then the lessons at school are ineffective.  
  • Conflicts. Unfortunately, some conflicts last not for a couple of days, but much longer. They become chronic and turn into the factors of toxic anxiety.
  • Lack of psychological support in school. Teachers and parents may lack sensitivity to notice that the child does not cope with stress. There always must be a school psychologist.

A few words about emotional abuse

It is a special stress factor that a child can face at home, at school, and even on the street. That is not only threats and insults, not only fear of punishment but everything that destroys the friendly environment around the child. That is adults’ shifted eyebrows or their tense silence.

The quiet threatening prophecy: “You’ll never be able to write the best essays”. The indifferent tone, the frightening facial expression: “I look at him, he immediately begins to obey, and he starts to be afraid of me”.

Emotional violence cannot strengthen the child or make him stronger. It deprives him or her of a feeling of safety and the possibility of making a mistake without serious consequences. More often than not, adults do hurt children emotionally because they are simply tired and on the verge of emotional burnout.

A teacher is a profession with a high risk of burnout, so parents should take a closer look at the teacher’s well-being if the child clearly “brings” traces of severe stress from school. Being in a stressful situation for most of the week poses a threat to the mental and physical health of the child.

If you notice that the teacher treats children aloof, indifferent, and cold – try not to stir up conflict, but protect the child. If it is not possible to establish contact with the teacher and soften the pressure, for the sake of the child it is better to change the school. 

Develop the stress-resistance of the students:

It is worth remembering: the brain does best what it does most often. It is in our power to train a child’s brain for success, for an even alternation of tension and rest, a calm attitude toward difficulties and a keen search for solutions. 

Here are tips from an adolescent psychologist

  • Maintain, support, cultivate a favourable, calm, friendly atmosphere in the family. In difficult situations there is no need to panic, you should remember that “it’s always darkest before the dawn.”
  • Try to communicate regularly, talk to the child about topics related to his or her experiences, feelings and emotions. Be sure to discuss the near and distant future. Try to build (but not impose) prospects together. Share your experiences, thoughts, suggest how to write a paper in an hour if needed. Sympathize, tell him that you understand how difficult it is for him now. Children who feel support and sincere sympathy from parents cope with stress more successfully.
  • Teach the child to express emotions in socially acceptable forms (aggression – through active sports, physical activity that can be done at home or outdoors; emotional distress – through a trusting conversation with relatives that brings relief). It is often difficult for a child (especially a teenager) to talk about experiences. Suggest that the child have a notebook. By putting their emotions on paper, they will feel relieved to be free of possible negative thoughts.
  • Encourage the child to be physically active. Stress is, first of all, a physical reaction of the body. Any activity which requires physical effort will help the child to struggle effectively with it. It can be house cleaning, physical exercises, singing, dancing etc. Try not to force the child to spend energy on something that is not interesting. Determine together what kind of active activity they would like to do while at home.
  • Support and encourage your child’s creative handiwork  (drawing, weaving “braids”, working for cheap writing services, glueing models). Even if it seems to you that the teenager does nothing useful. All this is a kind of “discharge”. Through the work, the teenager gets distracted from negative experiences and everyday problems.
  • Encourage the child to take care of neighbours (elderly people, younger children, pets). Pleasant duties, feeling that someone depends on them is an additional resource for coping with possible stress.
  • Maintain family traditions and rituals. It is important that a good family tradition is interesting, useful and loved by all generations of the family. So that the youth enjoy participating in them and do not perceive them as an unavoidable, boring, useless pastime.
  • Try to support the child’s daily routine (sleep, eating habits). Give the child more often the opportunity to get joy, satisfaction from everyday pleasures (a tasty meal, taking a relaxing bath, talking to friends on the phone, etc.).

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Gentle Ways To Give Your Teen Constructive Criticism

Posted by Sue Scheff on August 23, 2021  /   Posted in Featured Article, Parenting Teens, Teen Help

Ways to Talk to Your Teen About Constructive Criticism

Help Your Teens UnSplashTeenCriticism-300x223 Gentle Ways To Give Your Teen Constructive Criticism One of the most important and challenging skills to learn as a parent is how to give your teen constructive criticism. Many parents struggle to find the fine line between being overly critical and being constructive with the feedback they give their teens.

Despite the discomfort that often comes with both providing and receiving feedback, it is an inevitable part of life. Learning how to give your teen constructive yet gentle criticism will help them foster a healthy relationship with criticism and maintain a healthy relationship with you.

Receiving constructive criticism is healthy for your teen

Constructive criticism not only provides your teen with an opportunity to improve but also builds their resilience. Throughout their lives, they will face countless criticisms–both constructive and destructive.

Receiving gentle feedback from you exposes them to a healthy form of criticism. It teaches them that feedback is not intended to put them down but to build them up into a better version of themselves. ‘It means you wholeheartedly believe in their ability to do better. Giving your teen constructive criticism the right way enables them to distinguish healthy and supportive feedback from criticism that is cruel and harmful,” says Marian Larson, a writer at Studydemic and Academized.

Create a safe space for your teen to receive feedback

Help Your Teens PexelTeenMomTalking-300x203 Gentle Ways To Give Your Teen Constructive Criticism Before assailing your teen with countless ways to improve, ensure you have cultivated a relationship that actually makes them feel safe to receive feedback from you.

Do you listen to them when they speak? Truly listen. With no judgment, but with the aim to understand them better.

Can they trust you to only give feedback with the intention to help them improve? Feedback that isn’t laced with shame or blame?

Do you talk to your teen or do you talk at them? Are your conversations a two-way street?

Criticizing your teen is easy and almost as natural as breathing to most parents, but the difficulty lies in convincing them to listen. Just like any other relationship, effective communication with your teen requires a two-way street. Building a healthy, loving relationship based on mutual respect and trust is necessary if you want your teen to listen to you.

Avoid shaming, overly criticizing, or comparing your teen to others

It can be difficult sometimes to recognize the difference between parenting and shaming, especially so if your own parents corrected your behavior this way growing up. “If shame-ridden and guilt-loaded criticism was the only style of behavior modification parenting used on you by your parents, it can even seem like the norm. This mentally harmful cycle should end with you,” explains Dana Wilson, a parenting blogger.

A general good rule of thumb is that constructive criticism addresses a specific behavior. Focus on the action that requires improvement instead of your teen’s character. Avoid shaming statements that accuse them of being something wrong as opposed to doing something wrong. There’s a difference between your teen being lazy and your teen not doing their chores as consistently as you would like them to. One is a character flaw, the other is a behavior that can be easily fixed.

Implying something is wrong with who they are could seriously damage your teen’s confidence and mental health. Instead, identify the behavior that you would like them to change, explain your reasoning for wanting the change, and clearly state what they can do to improve.

Another hurtful style of parenting to avoid is comparing your teen to someone else. It suggests that they are not good enough for you. This could breed harmful tendencies such as feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and self-loathing.

Frame mistakes as opportunities for personal growth

Define mistakes to your teen as opportunities to learn through experience. It’s what you do after a stumble that matters most, not the fact that you stumbled.

Criticism should be followed by affirmations of their positive traits to reassure your teen that they are more than their worst mistakes. This also reminds them of their capabilities and encourages them to do better.

Explore your own relationship with criticism

Do you speak to yourself with kindness and compassion after a mistake? Or are you overly critical and mean? Your relationship with yourself tends to determine your relationships with other people, including your teen. Modeling a healthy way of responding to constructive criticism can cause your teen to imitate your approach. Remember that you are your teen’s most influential role model, regardless of whether they like to admit it or not. So go easy on yourself. You’re doing the best you can.

 Emily Henry is a writer and editor with a passion for healthy living. You can find her writing at Top Canadian Writers and Essay Writing Services, and her editing work at Assignment Help.

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How School Assignments Affect Your Teen: Preventing Stress and Anxiety

Posted by Sue Scheff on August 16, 2021  /   Posted in Featured Article, Teen Depression, Teen Help

The Challenges of Homework: 5 Helpful Tips to Prevent Teen Stress

Help Your Teens FreePikTeenStress-300x197 How School Assignments Affect Your Teen: Preventing Stress and Anxiety Stress is a part of everyday life, and schoolwork, busy schedules, responsibilities at home, deadlines, social drama and the expectations of others can all create stress in teens. 

 

If they have an active social calendar and do so many activities that they don’t have time for homework, that can stress them out and it’s all about finding a balance. Learning to manage stress means teens need to build coping skills that enable them to take daily challenges in their stride.  

 

Practice good time management

 

Encourage your teen to practice good time management by keeping track of assignments, practices, etc, with a planning app or calendar. The constant feeling that time is running out can be very stressful and planning can help to give a feeling of control. 

 

Of course, it doesn’t help to plan carefully and then not stick to the plan. Managing stress also means not procrastinating and keeping on top of assignments etc. Having a plan will give your teen the opportunity to reflect at the end of each day on how things are going and what tasks may need more time than others. 

 

Teens can start learning how to break their tasks down into manageable chunks and include time to relax or socialize. They can also learn how to divide their work into urgent, non-urgent, important and non-important tasks.  

 

Make time to exercise daily

 

One of the best ways for teens to manage stress is to get exercise every day and this exercise doesn’t necessarily have to come in the form of a hectic gym session. 

 

Taking a bike ride or taking deep breaths on a run releases chemicals in their brains that make them feel better. The endorphin rush they experience with exercise will give them more ability to focus on their homework and be productive instead of staring at a page for hours without making any progress. 

 

Teens often feel a sense of accomplishment from exercising and if they can exercise outdoors, this is another positive way to reinforce good mental health.  

 

Get professional help with assignments

 

 Teens are often faced with overwhelming tasks and they may not know which ones to tackle first. It may relieve their stress to know that they can get professional help with their assignments. British students should try Uk.EduBirdie because it’s a good place to buy an assignment. Students asking, “Are there experts in your topic?” will be happy to know that professional writers with experience in writing on a wide variety of topics are available.

 

Eat healthy

 

If unhealthy fast foods are the main source of fuel for teens, they are likely to crash and experience little energy after an initial high. Their memory, emotional state and learning ability are all affected by what they put into their bodies. They may experience diet-related mood swings, light-headedness and a lack of energy from eating too much of the wrong foods.   

 

Eating regular meals of healthy foods will help them to handle stress and perform at their best. Healthy meals will include a good balance of proteins, fruits and vegetables with not too many carbs or fats. While studying, eating healthy snacks can help them to keep going. 

 

Help Your Teens FreePikTeenStress2-300x202 How School Assignments Affect Your Teen: Preventing Stress and Anxiety Get enough sleep

 

It is easy for teens to let binge-watching Netflix or talking to friends on Whatsapp get in the way of going to sleep at a reasonable hour every night. When they operate in a sleep-deprived state, they are less productive and find it harder to learn.

 

Maintaining a sleep routine is of great importance to mental health and managing stress. Seven to eight hours sleep a night is recommended and going to bed and getting up at the same time in conjunction with relaxing before bedtime can help to improve teens’ sleep quality. 

 

Teens may find it hard to switch off their laptops, phones and tablets at least an hour before they go to bed but blue screens can interfere with their ability to fall asleep. Getting enough sleep can significantly improve their memory, focus, creativity and decision-making, all of which are important inside and outside of school.  

 

Conclusion

 

If teens want to learn how to manage stress, they have to learn how to find a balance between studying and all their other activities. They need to learn how to prioritize and decide what they need to focus on and what they can afford to let go of. Managing their time, exercising, eating healthily and getting enough sleep are all essential if they want to manage their stress effectively.   

 

Author’s Bio:
 
Emma Rundle is a star performer as a writer and has been instrumental in the success of the writing agency she works for. She’s good at writing poems, short stories, academic essays, personal statements and anything students might need her to do in terms of assignments. Her free time is for doing acrylic painting, playing lawn tennis and listening to jazz music.

 

 

 

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Managing and Reducing School Stress for Teens

Posted by Sue Scheff on August 07, 2021  /   Posted in Featured Article, Parenting Teens, Teen Help

Ways to Help Teenagers Reduce and Manage School Stress

Help Your Teens BigstockFrustratedTEen-300x200 Managing and Reducing School Stress for Teens Middle and high school students are under more stress than ever before. The number of U.S. high school students who experience academic pressure increased by 62 percent over seven years even though performance improved only modestly.

The number of students who spend more than 10 hours per week doing homework rose from 12 percent to 21 percent over three years.

Increasing Concerns About Academic Stress

Some schools are experimenting with turning down the heat on students. A few have taken such measures as eliminating advanced placement classes, reducing the emphasis on textbook learning, and administering fewer tests. However, others worry that such measures are too extreme and will hurt a college-bound student’s chance of competing for spots in the nation’s best colleges.

Many schools and parents are focusing, instead, on giving students the tools for coping with the constant demands of school. This might include more counseling, yoga classes, breathing techniques, or designated homework-free days.

Helping Teenagers Cope with School Stress

All of this increased pressure to perform academically can leave young adults feeling hopeless and parents feeling helpless. However, many experts agree that there are definitive steps parents can take to help their teenagers cope. The American Academy of Pediatrics, for instance, stresses teaching children resilience through such methods building confidence, strengthening family connections, and instilling character.

Here are some specific ways in which parents can help teens become more resilient:

Teaching Organization Skills

Perhaps the only thing more stressful for a student than having to complete homework assignments in several subjects is having to complete the work in an environment full of scattered papers and misplaced supplies. The fact that a child needs special knowledge for advanced mathematics is widely known, but both parents and students often take organization skills for granted.

Just like calculus, the organization is something that has to be learned. Children should be taught as early as elementary school to keep their workspaces and backpacks well-stocked and orderly. However, it is not too late for even the most disorganized teen to learn the basics of organization.

Parents who have not mastered this themselves may face the added challenge of learning along with their teens. Depending on the situation, a teen may need guidance in one or more of the following: removing excess clutter, arranging a desk into a workable space, storing supplies, sorting school papers into folders, or writing organized notes. Some great organization tips can be found in the book Organizing from the Inside Out for Teenagers.

Teaching Time Management Skills

Help Your Teens PexelTimeMgt-300x203 Managing and Reducing School Stress for Teens Time Management skills are a subset of organization skills. However, since time is less tangible than papers in a folder, its management can be a little harder to grasp.

Teen stress due to over-scheduling has often been the subject of discussion in parent circles, but the lack of scheduling can sometimes be a source of even greater pressures. Having multiple assignments, projects, and tests in the works with no study plan can lead to several major stressors, including cramming, late assignments, and poor performance.

Parents can help teens to develop the habit of keeping track of all assignments on a calendar, school planner, chart, or computer. They can also stress the importance of making a checklist of tasks to be completed and demonstrate how to quickly prioritize responsibilities.

Showing teens how to form a schedule for long-term projects or daily study plans for tests can prevent work from piling up and leading to stressful late-night cram sessions. In his book Fighting Invisible Tigers: Stress Management for Teens, psychologist Earl Hipp states that learning to set aside time for relaxation is also an important time management skill.

Teaching Relaxation Techniques

The ability to rest seems like something that should be second nature, but many people in today’s busy world simply do not know how to do it. Teaching teens simple breathing or meditation techniques can go a long way to help relieve tense muscles or calm nerves before an oral presentation. Some numerous books and videos describe such simple techniques. Parents can also advise their teens to enroll in a yoga class.

Offering as Much Support as Possible

Comprehensive way parents can help their middle or high school students to relieve stress is to simply offer their full and unwavering support. Understandably, parents want their children to learn independence, but this can be a gradual process as their children build knowledge and self-confidence.

A parent should continue to provide tutoring and emotional support as well as being actively involved in her child’s education well into the adolescent years. Even something as simple as helping a teenager with a regular household chore during final exams can reduce stress.

About the author: Diane H. Wong is a family coach. Besides, she is a research paper writer DoMyWriting so she prefers to spend her spare time working out marketing strategies. In this case, she has an opportunity to share her experience with others and keep up with advancing technologies.

If you feel you have exhausted your local resources and your teenager is experiencing extreme levels of stress, anxiety or depression – you may want to consider residential therapy. Contact us to learn more about residential treatment.

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Parenting Teens: Signs of Emotional Intelligence

Posted by Sue Scheff on July 29, 2021  /   Posted in Featured Article, Parenting Teens

Learn more about understanding teenage feelings

Help Your Teens UnSplashSadGirl-300x236 Parenting Teens: Signs of Emotional Intelligence There is a rough idea that managing and understanding emotions increase the human chances of success. So here are some of the science of emotional intelligence.

Thinking about feelings

Emotional intelligence starts with social and self-awareness, which is roughly the ability to recognize human emotions in oneself and others. Awareness begins with reflection, which leads to someone asking themselves about their emotional strengths and weaknesses.

For example, medical students use nursing assignment help to find their weaknesses when performing emotional resilience tasks. People also go a long way into asking how their mood affects their decision-making and thoughts. Having questions like those may generate valuable insights that can get utilized to someone’s advantage.

Pausing

It entails taking a moment to halt, and I think well before speaking or acting. The deed can assist you from embarrassing yourself or giving out comments quickly. It, therefore, helps you not to make a permanent decision while you have a temporary emotion.

 Striving to control thoughts

A slight moment may not give you enough room to control your emotions, but you can control how you react to such feelings, and that can get done by focusing only on your thoughts. If you strive to maintain your thoughts, you can resist being coming to a Messenger or a slave to your feelings and emotions, and that can allow you to live in harmony with yourself along with your values and goals.

Benefiting from criticism

Help Your Teens UnSplashHand-300x200 Parenting Teens: Signs of Emotional Intelligence There is no single person that enjoys getting negative feedback. But, on the other hand, criticism is a Golden chance for learning even if you don’t get it in the best way possible. It will also allow you to see how others think. So, instead of feeling bad when you get negative feedback, hold your emotions and ask yourself how you can make it better.

 Showing authenticity

To be authentic does not mean that you share everything concerning yourself with everyone. It means speaking out what you mean and telling whatever you say while sticking to your principles and values above anything else. Not everyone will come around to accept or appreciate your thoughts or feelings, but the people who matter will do it.

 Demonstrating empathy

Showing empathy includes understanding the feelings and thoughts of other people and understanding that can help find more that you have a deeper connection with other people. Instead of labeling and judging other people, you will work hard to see how they view things through their eyes. Of course, to be empathetic does not mean that you agree with other people’s points of view or perception. Still, understanding how they see things allows you to be more connected and build stronger relationships.

Praising others

All human beings are grateful for appreciation and acknowledgment. When you praise other people, you will satisfy their craving, and in the process, you will find yourself building trust. It all begins with focusing on the good that you see in others. Afterward, if you share what you appreciate in them, you’ll inspire them to become the best version that they can be.

Giving positive feedback

When you give negative feedback to people, they will get their feelings hurt and after you realize this, try reframing criticism as a constructive type of feedback so that the recipient can see it as a helpful thought instead of a harmful one.

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Preventing Teen Drug Use: What Parents Need to Know

Posted by Sue Scheff on July 09, 2021  /   Posted in Featured Article, Teen Drug Use, Teen Help

Parent Involvement Key to Stopping Drug Abuse

Parenting Styles Can Help Keep Addiction at Bay

Help Your Teens PexelsDrugs-300x203 Preventing Teen Drug Use: What Parents Need to Know Parents wondering how to best prevent drug use may only need to look in the mirror for their best answer. How parents approach their duties to their teenagers makes a major difference in whether their young teens will experiment, abuse, or become addicted to drugs.

Thomas Dishion in his article “Prevention of Early Adolescent Substance Abuse Among High-Risk Youth” [University of Hawaii, 1998] identifies certain patterns which prove problematic in increasing the risk of teens becoming drug users. Parent interventions and parenting styles have major impacts on these risks.

Parents need to focus on three primary areas. These include setting appropriate rules and guidelines for teen behavior outside of the family, expressing and enforcing appropriate rules with their adolescent in regards to school achievement, and setting strong boundaries by conveying education and limits about drug and alcohol use.

Drugs That Teenagers Commonly Use

Commonly used drugs by teenagers include marijuana, alcohol, ecstasy, cocaine, mushrooms, acid, and amphetamines. Some teenagers are exposed to drugs such as heroin, crack, and ketamine. These drugs all have different effects on the body, but each one can lead to dependency and a complete change in the teen’s behavior.

The Effects of Drugs on the Body

Drugs can have various effects on the body of teenagers. Some serious health effects come from using and abusing drugs. These include severe depression, mood swings, violence, heart problems, seizures, organ damage, anorexia, obesity, and brain damage. Drugs can also lead to overdoses, causing comas or death.

Signs That Your Teen is on Drugs

Signs that a teenager is on drugs vary depending on the drug being used. Signs that a teen is using marijuana include uncontrollable laughter, red or glossy eyes, slow and loud talking, eating large amounts of food, and sleeping a lot.

Signs of alcohol or downers – such as heroin and ketamine – abuse include slurred speech, difficulty standing or walking, anger, uncontrollable crying, vomiting, and passing out. Signs that a teen is on stimulants such as ecstasy, cocaine, and amphetamines include fast-talking, high energy levels, lack of appetite, weight loss, poor sleep habits, mood swings, anger, and euphoria. Upon signs of drug use in teens, parents should do their research to best help their teenagers get help for the problem.

Establishing Influence on the Behavior of Your Teen Outside the Family

Help Your Teens PexelsFamilyDogtime-300x204 Preventing Teen Drug Use: What Parents Need to Know Parents need to remember their teens will likely carry social skills learned within the family into their lives outside the family.

This means parents need to adopt a priority in helping teens learn to interact with others.

These skills include:

  • The ability to express their opinion clearly.
  • The ability to stand up to peers while feeling good about themselves.
  • The ability to ask for help with questions and situations which confuse the teenager.
  • The ability to find friends with supportive values.

These skills are communicated through everyday activities within the family. Parents may wish to consider specific exercises to increase these skills. Parents must also keep the channels of communication open, responding with empathy and information when a teenager seeks advice.

Encouraging School Achievement

Students’ performance in comparison to their peers seems to have a relation with drug behavior according to Dishion. Parents need to make homework and other school objectives a paramount concern.

Some ideas to focus on homework success include:

  • Setting up specific times for homework and being available to teens during this time.
  • Rewarding successful completion of homework projects.
  • Providing discipline for failing to complete homework or projects.
  • Contacting teachers and principals to clarify and verify assignments.

Setting Clear Limits about Drugs

Parents need to be very clear about their non-tolerance of drug and alcohol use by their teens. Discipline and punishments should be made clear to the teenager. Education about drug effects and dangers should also be reiterated. Many experts agree that education does not increase drug use, but rather may serve to provide teenagers more reasons to say no.

Parents should:

  • Have a no-drug policy at home.
  • Address drug dangers and effects with their teens.
  • Reflect sober living to their teens.
  • React immediately and seriously to any violations of the home’s no drug policy.
  • Provide ongoing education to the teenager about drugs, especially those drugs receiving social or media attention.

Parents hold an incredible ability to influence their teens away from drug and alcohol abuse. By teaching teens to hold onto their values in the face of peer pressure, establishing good classroom habits, and providing clear boundaries on drug use, parents play an essential role in preventing drug abuse.

About the author: Nicholas H. Parker is an essay writer at BuyEssayClub. He used to manage the content team at the company he worked for. Currently, Nicholas writes articles to share his knowledge with others and obtain new skills. Besides, he is highly interested in the psychology sphere.

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How Screen Time Can Impact Your Teen’s Mental Health

Posted by Sue Scheff on June 14, 2021  /   Posted in Featured Article, Internet Addiction, Teen Help

Teens, Technology and Emotional Wellness

Help Your Teens UnSplashTeenScreentime-300x225 How Screen Time Can Impact Your Teen's Mental Health Teenagers today could probably be known as the “iPhone generation”. They never knew a world without technology at their fingertips, and they’ve grown up with screens and digital devices at every turn. So, smartphones, tablets, and computer screens are part of everyday life for most teenagers.

But, is that a good thing?

Parents and scientists alike have shown great interest in the effects of screen time on a teenager’s health. Some studies have argued that too much of it can cause physical health issues.  On the other hand, many teens use technology as a way to stay connected. Taking it away could impact their mental health.

So, what’s the answer? As a parent, that’s up to you. But, it’s important to know what screen time can really do to your teen – especially when it comes to their mental health.

Common Mental Health Concerns

It’s estimated that teenagers spend over seven hours looking at their phones each day. Whether they’re scrolling through Instagram, creating TikToks, or chatting on WhatsApp, it’s easy for teenagers to get lost in the social aspect of being on their phones. Of course, phones and tablets are also used for entertainment, like watching videos and playing games. The options are endless, which makes it easy to waste hours without really thinking about it.

That connection can lead to things like peer pressure, bullying, or even just the desire to “fit in” on different social media platforms. Your teen might feel as though they have to constantly be plugged in just to keep up with their friends.

Unfortunately, that can take a toll on their mental health. One study found that teens who spend at least three or four hours a day looking at a screen have an increased risk of depression, thoughts of self-harm, and even suicide. Another study found that young people who spend at least seven hours in front of a screen each day are more likely to officially be diagnosed with depression or anxiety. It also found that the less screen time a teen had, the better their overall wellbeing.

The mental health issues associated with too much screen time can lead to bigger problems. Depression and anxiety can cause teenagers to:

  • Become fatigued
  • Have trouble concentrating
  • Isolating themselves
  • Losing interest in things they love
  • Have lower test scores

It can be difficult to understand teen depression. But, paying attention to these warning signs can alert you that something isn’t right. If you know that your teen spends most of their time in front of a screen, it won’t be hard to connect the dots and find out where their problems are stemming from.

Don’t Overlook the Physical Issues

Help Your Teens PexelSleepingTeen-300x200 How Screen Time Can Impact Your Teen's Mental Health In addition to mental health concerns, spending too much time in front of screens can lead to physical problems, too. For starters, starting at a screen all day can wreak havoc on your eyes. When a teenager spends too long looking at a screen, they can strain their eyes because the constant movement makes it harder to focus.

The light from the screen can also cause the eyes to become tired and lead to vision issues. Some of the common signs of vision problems include:

  • Squinting
  • Head tilting
  • Poor hand-eye coordination
  • Rubbing their eyes
  • Headaches

In addition to damaging the eyes, staring at a digital device all day can cause back and neck problems. It can even lead to poor sleep quality, which could leave your teen feeling tired and make them more prone to getting sick or injured. While feelings of depression and anxiety are important to recognize, don’t ignore the physical problems your teen could have to deal with because of their phones or tablets, either.

How to Talk to Your Teen About Screen Time

As a parent of a teenager, you probably already know it’s not always easy to talk to them – especially about things they don’t want to give up. But, knowing how screen time can impact them, it’s important to set boundaries. That’s especially true if your teen is spending most of their time at home.

Create a schedule that works for everyone, allowing them to use their electronic devices during certain hours of the day and only for a set amount of time. You might get some pushback at first. But, creating a schedule is a great way to be fair. Eventually, your teen will look forward to those times when they have their devices and will know how to handle it when each time is over.

To promote less screen time, encourage your teen to try other things. What are their other interests and hobbies? Or, what’s something you think would love if they tried it? If they have a passion for art, encourage them to create their own art, like a comic book. Do they love music? Suggest an instrument.

Maybe they have gotten into running or strength training. Why not encourage a sport? When your teen really discovers their passion, they’ll be less enamored with their screens. As a result, they can be mentally and physically healthier, and you can take comfort in knowing they aren’t depending on a digital device to find contentment.

If you feel you have exhausted your local resources — and your teen needs more help, contact us about how residential might be able to benefit your family.

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