Teens get all kinds of messages about how they should be and what they should do:
Why are you playing so many video games?
No you cannot go see your friends today.
You need to get your homework done...
...but you need to do it on my schedule.
Speak up. Don’t be so loud.Eat better. You’re not eating enough.
Do your chores. Exercise more.
(and all...) because it’ll look good on a college application.
And now that so many of us are sheltered in home, parents are under even more pressure to keep the kids ‘in line’ and on track.
These expectations can be overwhelming and stressful.
And the effects are so painful...
Overusing screen time
Defiance to parents
Violent Thoughts and Behaviors
1: Stress occurs when the demands put on us and that we put on ourselves consistently outpace the way our life actually is.
2: Stress is the gap between what we expect to happen and what is actually happening. (From DNA of relationships, Dr. Gary Smalley, page 54)
Modern parents and teens can be pretty hard on themselves. They're pushed to achieve professionally, academically, socially, spiritually, etc. And as long as we all allow these expectations to ‘outpace the way our life actually is’ we are going to be stressed.
As someone who grew up in the high-pressure environment of the San Francisco Bay Area (Danville), who still occasionally falls into self-judgement, I know this stress firsthand. So please let me tell you...
One of the most powerful de-stressing tools I have found is the practice of mindfulness.
This tool can be the foundation of more inner peace for you which will ripple out through your whole family.
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash
For centuries, people have practiced mindfulness as a way to become aware of their stressors/expectations, recognize them as worries about the past and the future and allow the body and mind to rest in the present moment.
Using self-care practices like mindful breathing and movement (yoga, dance, exercise, etc.) can help us let go of worrying about things we can’t change and focus on what we can do in this moment to improve our situation.
The results of mindfulness practices are real and backed up by lots of science. Here’s just one example of the effects of mindfulness on the more than 270,000 kindergarten through high school students in this study...
A study by Joseph A. Durlak from Loyola University Chicago [Durlak et al] found that social and emotional learning (SEL) programs, which included mindfulness techniques, resulted in an 11% improvement in achievement tests, a 25% improvement in social and emotional skills, and a 10% decrease in misbehavior, anxiety and depression, compared with pupils who received no program.
These may be some of the hardest moments we’ve ever faced as a community. And we need help! Let me please tell you that..
We at Parenting Modern Teens offer coaching, parenting classes and mindfulness experiences (like those below) to support parents and families every day with these modern day struggles.
Click HERE to read Sean's article "4 Tips to Make Your Self-Care Great".
Click HERE to schedule a "Parent Coaching" or "Teen Coaching" session with Sean or another PMT Coach.
Click HERE to find out more about PMT parenting classes!
Click HERE to read Sean's article, "Self-Care Can Save Your Family...and Your Teen".