A healthy response to stress (Part 1 of 10)

Wasn’t it just a few years ago that our children spent time playing imaginary games with their friends, dress-up and Superman. Then they moved on to being teenagers and real life began to set in. Our children have just enough time to IM their friends before going to swimming practice early in the morning, then to school, then to after-school activities and later dinner, homework and bed. The fast pace can be exciting for a while, but often becomes a task and can be stressful and unenjoyable. Teenagers are often worn out and exhausted by the end of the week. How can we help them with all the time pressures?

The issue of time pressure is a real one. But it seems to be much more than time pressure. They seem to want to have things “now” instead of later. They have begun to develop a craving for immediate gratification. We have encouraged them to seek their own personal fulfillment and yet “having it all” may end in pursuit of an unrealistic goal.

Parents – you can have an impact on how your teenager deals with life. Remember that you are the models for them. Try not to get caught up in the fast pace. You can help them with:

#1Balance: Admissions departments of the important schools are now looking for students who are balanced, not just those who have a high GPA. Encourage your children to pursue their passion.

Commentary by Margaret Murchan, LCSW

Resources and recommended readings on this topic:

The Hurried Child by David Elkind
Doing School: How We are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic and Miseducated Students by Denise Clark Pope
The Price of Privelege by Madeline Levine, Ph.D


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