The teen years are filled with stressors: Not enough time in the day for school, homework, sports, and extracurriculars; social pressures; college decisions; relationships…the list goes on and on. On Thursday night, 21 January, teens and adults met to discuss this topic.
Eleven teens from QV Voice added to their stressful lives by spending time with us to share their thoughts about stress and how adults can help them. The meeting was kicked off by Amy Keller, counselor at Quaker Valley High School, with a brief overview of brain development for parents, focusing on how different the teenage brain is from the fully-developed adult brain. With this perspective, parents are better able to understand and help their teens navigate through their stresses.
The majority of the evening was then spent hearing from teens. They shared their thoughts about what stresses them, and descriptions of how parents succeed (or sometimes fail) at helping. The most valuable message that came through again and again to parents is that it is very important that they make every effort to listen to and hear their teens – and NOT to try to fix everything for them. As many of the students pointed out, they are learning how to navigate the stresses of their lives, and a sympathetic, rather than a judgemental, ear, helps them greatly.