Parents: 4 Ways to Help Your Teen Manage High School Stress
High school is a challenging and demanding time, and your child will experience a fair amount of stress. However, you can be a support system for your student as he or she deals will these challenges. Read on for four strategies for making sure your child’s stress doesn’t get the best of her.
Make a Plan of Action Freshman Year
When your child starts high school, formulate an action plan together. Figure out your goals for high school and for the future. Consider potential challenges, and discuss how you might tackle them if and when they arise. Most importantly, remind your student that you are a resource for guidance and support. For more advice, check out Your Ultimate Guide on How to Make a High School Action Plan.
If your child is taking on too much, he or she could be hurting herself and her mental health. Remind her about the dangers of overcommitting; not only can she become overly stressed, but her academic life could suffer if she doesn’t pay attention to her well-being.
Make sure your child is taking time for her health and wellness. For some pointers, read 5 Reasons to Prioritize Health and Fitness in High School. Pay particularly close attention around mid-year and the end of the year, since they are especially stressful times.
Be Proactive About Your Child’s College Search
When your child is a freshman, start thinking about college visits. It’s not too early to be thinking about what kind of college your child might want to attend in four years. As a sophomore and junior, she should be visiting colleges and formulating her college list. Developing a strategy early can reduce stress later on. Check out CollegeVine’s Guide to 9th Grade for more advice on creating a strategy early.
Take Advantage of Summer
Colleges want to see students being productive during summers. Discuss summer programs, jobs, volunteering, and other ideas for how your child can spend summers productively. Check out 50 Summer Activities for High School Students for more ideas. Start planning early in the year to avoid having to scramble at the last minute; many programs, for instance, require students to apply in the winter to consider applications.
Be supportive and step in when your child seems overwhelmed. Even if your student doesn’t ask for help, make it clear that your are there to support and help her through any issues that arise. If the stress seems too difficult for you and your child to figure out together, consider other resources, such as your child’s guidance counselor or a mental health professional.
There may be other issues going on, such as a learning disability, test anxiety, or a psychological disorder, and getting it diagnosed will allow you to get the resources and help you need. You can also look for other solutions to and resources for academic issues, such as tutors.
Check out our other guides for staying organized and managing stress in high school:
Does your teen want access to expert college guidance — for free? When they create their free CollegeVine account, they will find out their real admissions chances, build a best-fit school list, learn how to improve their profile, and get their questions answered by experts and peers—all for free. Encourage them to sign up for their CollegeVine account today to get a boost on their college journey.