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Stress about the Future: How to help your teen

Stress about the Future: How to help your teen

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Stress about the Future: How to help your teen

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Special Discussions: Young people are stressed about the future. How can you help your teen?

 

The future can be equal parts exciting and scary for teens (and parents!). With growing independence comes stress around making decisions, and uncertainty of what the future will look like. 

 

Young people tell us that the pressures to make decisions and uncertainty about the future is one of the biggest stressors they experience. From a changing workforce where career pathways are less linear, pressure to choose a career out of school, concerns for the financial future and worry about the future of the planet… there are a lot of concerns young people have about their futures.

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Over the coming weeks, we will be unpacking the stressors your kids might be facing, why young people might be stressed about the future, and what parents can do to help.

 

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Re: Stress about the Future: How to help your teen

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Part 1: What are young people stressed about and why?

 

To start, here are some of the key issues from our recent discussion of future stress on the youth forum!

 

 

What are young people telling us they are stressed about?

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[I am stressed about] ...the uncertainty of where I might be next year and if I will be able to find a full time job.”

“I am more unsure now than ever. I have no idea what life holds for me at the end of the year as I know it is hard to get employed in the psychology field straight out of uni “

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With my studies, I didn't really have a 'backup plan' if I didn't get into the courses I wanted to get into”

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“I also don't know how I will juggle my caring responsibilities with study.”

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I feel like I'm running out of time. As if I'm on a deadline to finish my studies. I was hoping I could finish in the minimum amount of time but every semester it looks like I will be further extending my studies because I am struggling so much.”

“...there's so much pressure to finish within a certain 'acceptable' time period”

 

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“I don't know if I'll get into postgraduate study because it's so competitive.”

 

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“Right now i'm a bit unsure about what my plans are for next year. Whether to take a gap year, or study something else....”

 

“I definitely like to know where I'm headed and like to try to control my future as much as possible.”

 

“I am a person who always has their life planned out for at least the next year so I am very stressed not knowing what I will do next year. However, it's nice to know I am not alone with these feelings."

 

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Want to hear more about future stress from our young people? Read the full conversation here!

 

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Activity 1: 

  • Is your teen/child stressed about the future?
  • If so, what are the things they are most worried about?

 

 

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Re: Stress about the Future: How to help your teen

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Part 2: What can parents do to support a teen who is stressed about the future?

 

In Part 1 we heard from young people about what they are stressed about and why. Now lets open the discussion to helpful tips to use when your teen is stressed. 

 

There are some great suggestions here about helping your child to develop coping skills for stress, and you can read about ways young people calm themselves when they feel stressed here.

 

The future can be a point of significant stress for young people. So what can you do if your teen is stressed about the future, how can you help?

 

Activity 2: 

 

  • If your teen has been stressed about the future how have you supported them?
  • What has worked well for you and your teen when dealing with stress?

 

 

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Frequent scribe

Re: Stress about the Future: How to help your teen

I've helped my own child work when I feel he may suffer from depression. Of course, teenagers typically believe that no one understands them, so supporting a depressed kid can be that much. Being a parent we have to understand them otherwise who will care him/her if not the parents
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Re: Stress about the Future: How to help your teen

Hi @Alexendra,

 

Thank you your post, it sounds like you have been working to navigate communication and support for your son when he is going through some tough times. We would be interested to hear from your experience if you have any tips for parents in talking to their teens about stress? How have you been able to communicate with your son, and how is he going with managing stress at the moment?

 

I have just had a look through the forums and have seen you have offered some words of support to other parents too. It means a lot to so many forum members to receive a reply and words of support, thank you for helping make our community a safe and supportive space for parents Smiley HappyHeart

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Re: Stress about the Future: How to help your teen

This is an issue for me with my 17 year old daughter, I seem to have lost touch with her though and can’t seem to redeem it, She is my oldest of 5-4 girls and a boy
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Re: Stress about the Future: How to help your teen

Hi @Toffer and thank you for reaching out Smiley Happy

 

It sounds like stress about the future is a big topic for your teen at the moment. Would you be interested in sharing a little bit more about what is happening for your daughter? 

 

There are so many parents here that can relate and are ready to offer support from their experiences too Heart

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Re: Stress about the Future: How to help your teen

My 17 year old daughter has been feeling sad during this unpredictable and unsettling year. She’s hated remote learning and started to feel sad and her breakup with her boyfriend seems to have amplified the sadness.
We have encouraged her to get well being support from school which she has committed to and she is trying to figure out her reasons for feeling sad. I also sit and encourage open conversation about her feelings. Not always well received but I reassure this is coming from a place of love. Since the breakup she has closed up a bit and not really wAnting to confront her feelings. I know deep down this is the root cause of her sadness. She has also lost a lot of confidence. I am afraid she’s manifesting her feelings as they are too hurtful. I’m worried she could break down and her exams will be affected so I am encouraging her to push herself to be honest with herself and confront head on. It’s not easy but I am making her see that she needs to take control and resolve conflicting thoughts about her ex by talking to him. They broke up mutually due to Covid situation. Nothing was wrong so hence I think the uncertainty, fear of rejection and unresolved.
The future of uni and choices are also stressing her so we have defined a step by step logical outlook of what we can control. My advice to her is to be ok with the uni choices for now and once exams have passed she will have a better idea of how she might score. Between exams and results there’s one month to reassess those choices without the exam stress. If she’s changed her mind then we wait for results and change. If not sure still then stay with current choices until she figures it out with options available through uni. We always try to talk openly and honestly with her knowing that we will always support and help her achieve her goals where we can.
This has been a very difficult year and I’m heart broken for my daughter and all other teens dealing with this final year of their schooling and transition to adulthood. They have lost so much but as parents we have to stay positive and just understand, love and support them.
Ta....