Parent Stress = Teen Stress

Posted by Stacey Brown Randall

How do you handle stress? Well it turns out if you have teenagers or young adults they pick up your stress habits. That means, according to an American Psychological Association study, teens learn how to deal with stress by mirroring their parents. So if you don’t handle stress well, your kid won’t either.

The study was revealing. It turns out teens reported higher levels of stress than adults… “5.8 for teens versus 5.1 for adults on a 10-point scale.” The study also reported that “about a third said they felt overwhelmed or sad or depressed because of stress. Another third said they felt tired, and a fourth said they sometimes skip meals because of stress.”

Do those feelings and behaviors sound familiar? It is scary to think that your teen learned how to deal with stress from you.

But you are not alone in dealing with your stress! According to a Work Stress Survey more than eight in 10 employed Americans said they are stressed out on the job amid heavier workloads and low pay. Unmanaged stress can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, insomnia, depression and relationship issues. In fact, a Towers Watson Staying@Work survey uncovered that “Stress is the #1 workforce risk issue, ranking above physical inactivity and obesity.”

I recently presented at a Wellness and Benefits Workshop on stress and the topic I co-presented on was how to manage and deal with stress. There are three areas you can work on to lower the impact of stress on your life. Those areas are physical, nutritional and emotional. When I work with clients I aim to de-clutter their work life…be that their mental space, physical space, or digital space. Exerting control is one way to decrease stress. You can exert control over your email, you can learn to say no, you can create a workspace that works for you and you can listen to your natural work rhythms and harness those rhythms to work for you, not against you.

You can also take control of how you respond to stress and be a good role model for your kids. Work out, take a break, laugh, pray, mediate, or walk away. Those are all good behavioral mechanisms to deploy when stress rears its ugly head.

Here’s to you being your best productive self!


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