As teenagers make the transition to adulthood, they often feel frustrated in the face of peer pressure and the demands of school and parental expectations. Although some teens find a release through extracurricular or social activities, some might require guidance to overcome frustration before it leads to anxiety or depression, according to TeensHealth, at KidsHealth.org/teen. Use strategies to help your teen cope with frustrating situations during these formative years.
Teenagers face daily, self-imposed stresses and pressures from outside sources that can lead to frustration, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. These can include parental pressure to earn top grades and excel in extracurricular activities, the desire to impress peers and negative thoughts about themselves. Teenagers might also feel frustration as the result of a living situation, such as residing in an unsafe neighborhood, dealing with divorce, family financial problems or coping with the illness or death of a loved one.
Study your teenager for signs of frustration that might be affecting her mood, her ability to handle setbacks rationally or the ability to enjoy her social, school and family life. Teens that are overwhelmed by stress and frustration might show impatience, lash out at friends and family or become extremely moody, according StrengthForCaring.com. You may also notice your teen giving up friends or activities that she used to enjoy because they are becoming too stressful, according to an article on the Boston University website. For example, she may begin to skip practices or express the desire to quit a sport because she feels frustrated by the competition.
If your teenager struggles with frustration, teach him ways to lessen the stress before it overwhelms him. Follow a suggestion by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and advise your teen to take care of his body by exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, avoiding alcohol and cigarettes and limiting caffeine consumption, which can make him feel even more agitated. In addition, encourage your teen to talk about his feelings, relieve stress by taking short breaks to relax during stressful activities and avoid perfectionism by accepting setbacks and treating mistakes as learning experiences.
When teenagers aren’t able to cope with frustration, they might suffer from stress overload and benefit from professional intervention. Frustrated teens might experience panic attacks, difficulty sleeping and such physical symptoms as chest pain, headaches or digestion problems, according to TeensHealth. Serious cases can even lead to depression, eating disorders or the abuse of controlled substances. Consider talking to a school counselor, therapist or physician if your teen is struggling with frustration to uncover the root of the problem and develop a plan to help her combat the issue.