Just as toddlers are discovering new ways to communicate and may get frustrated and scream; so are teens. Teens don't fit into the children category but don't fit into the adult category either. Because of this confusion stress can ensue.
We as parents must act as detectives to determine if our teen is experiencing trials and tribulations that can certainly lead to stress. If your child is moody or suddenly withdrawn these are signs but many won't be as obvious. Some parents may feel that there is no reason a teen should be stressed but that is not a healthy thought process.
Every generation experiences their own circumstances that can lead to stressful situations. Those that came before us grew up during challenging times such as World Wars, Vietnam and Aids. In the 80's and into today, the battle with Aids continues as well as drugs and the economy. As a parent we must remember the times or circumstances that stressed us. The times are changing and we need to keep an open mind.
Image being asked what you will do when you grow up or what college you will attend when you are having changes occurring within your body that you can't explain. The teens of today deal with peer pressure, drugs and alcohol as well as sexual changes and relationships, not to mention their plans or lack of plans for the future. Now throw in the conflict in the Middle East and the struggling economy and there's no wonder our teens are stressed. Quite frankly if adults are stressed and having difficulties can you imagine the stress our teens are experiencing.
Teens are definitely like toddlers. Toddlers are growing and discovering changes but are not quite capable to communicate or express their frustrations so they cry or scream. Teens are very similar. They feel the effects of the stress that may be surrounding their family along with all the physiological changes and are unable to express their feelings effectively. Many will withdrawal completely while others will find groups or friends that are dealing with the same issues but handling them negatively.
Our role as parents is to not only act as detectives but to communicate with our children. It's important to keep the lines of communication open no matter how difficult the subject matter may be. It's also important to resist the urge to overreact. Believe me that this may sound impossible, but it is truly essential. The main goal is to keep your teen talking to you and not searching elsewhere for approval.