What Are the Best Tips for Coping with Adolescence?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
The social, psychological, and emotional changes that occur during adolescence may put a lot of stress on families.
The social, psychological, and emotional changes that occur during adolescence may put a lot of stress on families.

Coping with adolescence can be a constant issue for teenagers and their families. The range of physical, psychological, social, and emotional changes that occur during adolescence can give rise to increased stress for parents and children, and lead to breakdowns in family dynamics. For teenagers, coping with adolescence is often about learning good stress management strategies and directing energy into positive activities. Parents learning to cope with the trials of adolescence may need to re-assess their communication strategies and try to provide a stable home environment.

It's important to keep open lines of communication during the teen years.
It's important to keep open lines of communication during the teen years.

For teenagers, life is full of new challenges and experiences that, while exciting, can also be stressful. The pressure to do well in school and prepare for the future may be difficult for some, making teens feel as if they aren't properly prepared or capable of handling responsibility. To handle fears of failure, it may help to try and concentrate on one task at a time, such as a single homework assignment or college application. This can prevent a teen from feeling like he or she is overwhelmed by the big picture, and may allow for more efficient completion of tasks. Teens who are struggling with schoolwork or plans for the future may also need reassurance that seeking guidance counseling or tutoring is not an admission of failure, but a strategy for success.

Parents coping with adolescence face a number of challenges.
Parents coping with adolescence face a number of challenges.

In a complete contrast, coping with adolescence can also include situations in which they feel they are not given enough responsibility or credit. Adults may have a difficult time taking the needs and viewpoints of a teenager seriously, which can be intensely frustrating for the teen. Parents may be unable to talk about difficult subjects, such as drug use or sex, without getting upset. Adolescents may want to handle these situations by making sure to keep their own temper in check, so they do not come off as childish even when baited. It may also help to try and identify adults that will take a teenager seriously, such as counselors, teachers, an older sibling, or a young aunt or uncle.

Parents coping with adolescence face a number of challenges, not the least of which being their own fear of becoming irrelevant to their child's life. Some psychologists stress that the most important way for parents to help children get through adolescence is by keeping open lines of communication. Teens need to be comfortable bringing their problems to their parents, even if it is difficult for parents to hear. Often, teens are simply looking for an adult who can listen without judging them or deriding their views; as difficult as it is, parents may have to serve as good listeners first, even if they are unhappy with what is said.

Another way parents can help teens coping with adolescence is by creating a stable home environment. Rules and discipline are important to stability, and should be made clear and enforced consistently. Teens may be more likely to follow the rules if parents discuss the rationale with them, and if parents are willing to negotiate on some items. Making teens feel like a valued part of the household as opposed to a burden and potential hazard can go a long way toward improving communication and parent-child relationships.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a writer.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a writer.

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