Recently I was talking to my daughter about her procrastination on her homework, chores and work and she told me to stop getting on her and “stressing her out’. She said she has enough stress in her life right now and that I didn’t understand. I asked her “what stress?” She wouldn’t elaborate except that there’s a lot of pressure in school and soccer and with teens. She also said that some kids can’t handle it which is why they commit suicide. In total shock, I asked yet another question, “what is SO stressful that taking your life is the ONLY solution?”
She responded, “mom, you won’t and don’t understand, the world now is not like it was when you were in highschool. Kids don’t have are under a lot of stress and pressure.”
I am still dumbfounded as to what can be so “stressful” for a teen? I asked her if she meant overwhelmed and she said, “what’s the difference?”. I said, “big difference, stress makes you feel worried and nervous and concerned and feeling overwhelmed is more like feeling very anxious and like you have no control of your life and as if you can’t breathe, too much for you to handle and it scares you.
She said, “yeah, that’s it…Overwhelmed!” I said welcome to LIFE! We all get that feeling a lot but it’s how you handle it that’s key. I told her that I could help her overcome that feeling and that it starts with first being organized, asking for help and finding an outlet – exercise, listening to music etc.
I find myself wanting to relieve Olivia of the overwhelming feeling but I know she needs to learn to cope with it and learn how to overcome it and deal with it because life only gets more hectic, crazy, uglier and messier and if she can’t handle it now she certainly wont when she’s an adult.
My concern NOW though is hoping these teens don’t end their lives because they didn’t know how to deal with that overwhelming feeling. Double edged sword at its best.
For now, I am taking it one day at a time with Olivia and am always listening and asking how she is coping and what I or anyone can do to help. Sometimes breaking it down with someone helps, writing it down and crossing things off gives that mental feeling of accomplishment and one step closer to reducing the overwhelming feeling. Most important feeling they need to feel.. Loved and not alone.
How do your kids cope with stress or feeling overwhelmed? Always looking for good tips!