The start of the school year is a time of transition for teens and requires adjusting to new classes, schedules and peer groups. Stress due to academic pressure and social issues can be especially challenging for adolescents as they are still developing appropriate coping skills to deal with anxiety.
A few things for parents and counselors to keep in mind during the school year:
Be a role model – Be careful when talking about dieting or making negative comments about your appearance, over time this type of mindset will influence your teen’s attitudes towards themselves.
Everything in Moderation – Evaluate your teen’s academic schedule and extracurricular activities in order to ensure that they are not at risk of becoming overscheduled and stressed.
Listen – Teens often provide clues in conversation as an insight into how they may be feeling. According to recent research, depressed teens don’t often describe themselves as depressed. Many times, they may use words such as “stressed out” or “sad” instead.
Sports as a Trigger – Students training for cross country, swimming, wresting, gymnastics, dance and competitive cheer may be at a higher risk due to the nature of the training and ideal weights associated with these activities.