Stress and Teens — A Simple Way for Parents to Get Centered

Posted January 11, 2009 by

Being a parent of a teenager is inherently stressful – I think the words “teenager” and “stress” are actually synonyms – and any way you can figure out how to prevent stress while dealing with your kids is a huge help. As the adoptive parents of five kids, we’ve found that stress management is key to parental survival!

So why do we have stress? The main reason we have it, in my opinion, is that our lives, or portions of our lives, are out-of-control. Finances, health, kids, time – these are all areas that can easily get overwhelming and quickly can get out-of-control. This is a complex, fast-paced, stress-filled world we live in, and there’s really no way around that unless you live by yourself on a desert island. I know I don’t have that luxury. So how to we reduce our stress? In my opinion, you can’t reduce the stress…but you can learn to handle it.

One way to do this is to get centered. What does it mean to get centered? Getting centered means figuring out something that you can do that will give you a sense of control in your life, even if it’s in a tiny way. It might not even be anything that needs controlling, but it has to be something you can control. So even if you can’t control any or all of the big things, if you can control something small, it can do wonders for your overall stress level.

How do you get centered? Figure out something that’s relaxing or soothing for you, and that gives you a sense of accomplishment when you get done. I heard about a CEO of a major corporation who gets centered by separating small paper clips from large ones. When his assistant told him they could have someone else do that, he almost ripped the container of mixed-up paper clips out of his hand! Nope, that was his job, thank you very much! I have a couple of things I do to get centered – the main one is to mow the lawn. Now I know, most guys my age can hardly wait for their kids to get old enough to hand that job over to them, but as far as I’m concerned, they’ll never learn how to do it! Believe me, the kids are not too bummed – they don’t get centered the same way I do. Anyway, I just love the feeling and the satisfaction of seeing that freshly mowed and edged lawn, with hardly a blade of grass out of place. It gets me centered. Another technique of mine is making the bed. It’s my wife this time that doesn’t mind this quirk of mine. I love the look of a smooth, tightly made bed with the sheets and blankets tucked in perfectly. Ahhhh! My wife Julie’s method of preventing stress? To clean the sliding glass door. When she’s feeling out-of-control, she almost runs for the Windex and paper towels, and gets that baby so clean you could eat off of it. It’s her way of getting centered.  So there you go — sometimes a very small action can serve to calm us down and focus our thoughts, which is what you need to get control back.

Do you feel like your life is out-of-control? Well, figure out what gets you centered, and you’re well on your way to figuring out how to prevent stress. Take back control of your house TODAY! Learn effective parenting skills that will work right away! The Total Transformation Program will empower you as parents in ways you never thought possible!

Do you have any stress-busting techniques? Share them here!


Matt and Julie Hellstrom are Parent Bloggers for EP

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