Teens More Stressed Than Ever; Is It Our Fault?

This will not surprise the parent of any teen (I'll find out in June when mine turns 13), but teens are more stressed out than the adults in their lives.

OK, so they don't have to work and provide a roof over their own heads, or live through a divorce, or even, deal with their own, or their elderly parents', serious illnesses.  But believe it or not, according to NBC News," merica’s teens are every bit as stressed as the adults around them — and sometimes even more — according to a new survey that offers a snapshot of adolescent angst."

The Stress in America survey found that 30 percent of teens reported feeling sad or depressed because of stress and 31 percent felt overwhelmed. Another 36 percent said that stress makes them tired and 23 percent said they’ve skipped meals because of it.

On average, teens reported their stress level was 5.8 on 10-point scale, compared with 5.1 for adults, according to NBC News.

“You have to be able to perform at a much higher level than in the past, when I was in high school,” Dave Forrester, a counselor at Olympia High School in Olympia, Wash., tells NBC News. “We have so many choices for kids. They need to grow up a little faster about what they want to do and how they’re going to do it.”

An increased emphasis on make-or-break school testing and sharp focus as early as middle school on future college or career plans can be intense for some kids. Others find that the ordinary struggles of adolescence — friendship, romance, fitting in — are magnified by social media that doesn’t end when classes are over.
“It follows them home,” NBC News quotes Tim Conway, who directs the counseling department at Lakeland Regional High School in Wanaque, N.J. “There is no escape anymore.”
One teen commented that most of his stress comes from the pressure to perform well day in and day out.
And stress levels are increasing.  Psychologists and psychiatrists both say they are seeing more depressed and anxious kids. 
So what do you if you want your kid to do well, yet not experience such anxiety life becomes a living hell?  I'm guilty of this, too.  Though my son is a high honors student (Mom made the honor roll twice in her whole school career), I find myself bugging him about working harder (and earlier; like his father, he's a major procrastinator).
I know it's time for me to chill, the kid knows what he's doing.  But it truly is sad that we are beating the teen years out of our teens.


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