If you can believe it, we are nearing the end of the semester! Students may feel pressure from upcoming or past due assignments, projects and tests for their IOAPA courses. Helping students to recognize and manage their stress is an important skill that will continue to help them in their education path and future career.
Identifying stressed students is important, particularly because in 2013, teens reported their stress level to be higher than levels reported by adults. Students’ stress often looks different from a typical adult’s stress. The American Psychological Association (APA) released an article to help adults identify signs of stress in children and teenagers. Some helpful tips to identify their stress include:
Watch for negative changes in behavior, as adolescents may have a difficult time recognizing when they are experiencing stress and verbalizing it . Understand that “feeling sick” may be caused by stress, because stress can appear as physical symptoms such as stomachaches and headaches. Be aware of how your child or teen interacts with others, as children may act out in other settings when they do not feel like themselves. Therefore, communicating with teachers or parents can provide a better understanding and more context of your child’s interactions. Listen to what the student is saying, as increased negative self-talk may be a sign of stress, and always seek additional support if necessary.
In 2013, teens reported increased stress when they did not get enough sleep. Further, 20% of teens reported exercising less than once a week or not at all, and 39% reported skipping a meal due to stress. Parents and teachers can model healthy coping strategies to manage stress, and encourage students to exercise, eat well, and sleep!
For additional resources, see:
Bethune, S. (2014). American Psychological Association survey shows teen stress rivals that of adults. American Psychological Association (202), 336-343.