Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness

Ever wonder why your teenager is stressed? Here’s why!

LENTEN REFLECTIONS #9

During the 8th-grade graduation ceremony, the guest speaker straightened his tie, leaned over the microphone and declared confidently as if he were announcing the Power Ball Lottery Numbers: “Everything, EVERYTHING matters in high school!” (so don’t blow it).

I was convinced he was solely referring to grades. But boy was I wrong. Again.

Sure. Grades matter. But wait! There’s more. So. Much. More.

Research shows the prefrontal cortex, the rational part of the brain, doesn’t fully develop until age 25 or so. This is the area of the brain that employs good judgment and knowledge of consequences. Adults respond to situations with the prefrontal cortex.

Teens, on the other hand, process information with the emotional part, the amygdala. This is why every day seems like an emotional Tsunami. Logic will come, just give it another 7-12 years. Ugh. Doesn’t a driver’s license seem like such a bad idea now? According to the CDC Injury Center:

“The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 1619-year-olds than among any other age group. In fact, per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.” (October 2018, CDC Injury Center).
Statistics stink sometimes…

Here are my top 60, yes 60 issues our teen’s overworked minds have to noodle through:

Grades (again), friends, the bus, lunch, AP classes, no AP classes, shoes, cars, driving permits, shoes – again, clubs, sports, not playing a sport, music, instruments, phones, social media, ACT tests, SAT tests, girlfriends, boyfriends, parking spaces, online courses, weekends, sleep, no sleep, grade point average, college tours, Youtube, likes, scholarships, prom, service hours, cliques, tests, homework, quizzes, failing, thinking a B is failing, caring what others think, vaping, not vaping, food, money, depression, school shootings, body image, acne, hair gel, allergies, being too short or too tall, global warming, understanding global warming, voting, working, gas money, and braces.

Some (or most) days will be messy, awful and emotionally draining but at the end of the day, just pray they find their tribe, recognize what REALLY matters and most importantly, remind them to ALWAYS-ALWAYS pack snacks…hunger is a cranky contributor. Zone bars and raisins have saved me on many surly occasions, buy in bulk.

Spiritual Workout: Pray for all teenagers and their parents. Thanks.

Workout: Go for a long walk with a friend or family member and talk about what matters to you. Remember to listen (the hardest part for me).

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