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Teen Wellness & Managing Teen Stress:
Parental Strategies

GT Mashup Blog:
Episode 011

Written By : Daniel Currie

Published On : 2/22/2024

I Get It—Really.

Pixar Image of 3 sections of same brown hair, brown eye teen: 1st section at school, 2nd as a portrait, 3rd with girlfriend & social media icons

Navigating the teen years with my son has been one hell of a ride. Between the relentless academic grind, the social media circus, and the suffocating societal expectations, it’s like navigating a minefield blindfolded. But here’s the kicker—I’ve seen these battles up close and personal, and I’m telling you, they’re not unbeatable. With a bit of grit, a shit-ton of savvy strategies, and a whole lot of heart, we can steer our teens through this chaos. Here’s the scoop on the top three pressures that seem impossible but are actually more like speed bumps, assuming we hit them with the right mindset.

Academic Expectations: Fostering a Growth Mindset

The academic rat race can be a real bitch. It’s not about pushing our kids to hit the books harder; it’s about inspiring them to embrace the grind for what it is—a chance to grow.

► Prioritize Learning Over Grades 

Hammer it home that the real win is in understanding, not just acing tests. It’s the journey, with all its fuck-ups and victories, that counts.

► Set Realistic Goals

Sit down with them to set goals that stretch them without breaking them. It’s about striking that perfect balance where they’re pushed but not to the point of snapping.

► Encourage Breaks and Self-Care

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, right? Push them to find hobbies that give their brains a rest. A little downtime can do wonders, recharging their mental batteries and keeping burnout at bay.

Social Media: Cultivating Digital Wellbeing

Social media can be a double-edged sword—a source of inspiration or a pit of despair. Teaching our teens to navigate this digital jungle is key to maintaining their sanity.

► Follow Inspiring People

Influence them to curate a feed that lights a fire in their bellies, not one that drowns them in comparison and self-doubt.

► Limit Nighttime Use

No phones in bed. Period. The blue light is a sleep-sucking vampire. Encourage them to read or listen to music instead.

► Promote Creation Over Consumption

Urge them to be the voice, not just an echo. Creating content, whether it’s art, writing, or videos, empowers them and beats mindless scrolling any day.

Societal Expectations: Embracing Individuality

Screw the cookie-cutter version of success. Our teens need to know that it’s their quirks and oddities that make them extraordinary, not their ability to conform.

► Discuss Different Success Stories

Show them examples of people who tore up the rulebook and wrote their own success stories. It’s about highlighting the diversity of paths to fulfillment.

► Encourage Exploration

Prod them to try everything and anything. The best lessons are often learned through spectacular failures and the courage to try again.

► Validate Their Feelings

The pressure to fit in can be overwhelming. Make it clear that their value doesn’t come from meeting everyone else’s damn expectations but from being fiercely and unapologetically themselves.

Conclusion

Steering our teens through these stormy years is about empowering them to navigate life’s bullshit with their heads held high. My own journey with my son has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows, but damn, it’s been worth every moment. It’s shown me that with the right approach, we can transform those mountains of pressure into molehills. Craving more unfiltered, straight-talking advice? Check out our other Mashup Blogs. They’re your arsenal for tackling the teen years with a blend of grit, grace, and a middle finger to those who say it can’t be done. Together, let’s rewrite the rulebook on raising teens, turning pressure into purpose, one badass step at a time.

Until Next Time...

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