High school kids are stressed. Not only are they dealing with identity crises, academic stress, finding their future paths, and getting ready to launch, but they’re also dealing with information and technology overload.
The escalating rates of high school students dealing with addiction and suicide is at an all-time high. One in 11 high school-aged teens become addicted to marijuana, and 22.7 million kids over the age of 12 are using inhalants. Even more alarming is the suicide rate for girls (age 15-19) doubled from 2007 to 2015, and increased by 30 percent for boys (age 15-19) over the same time period.
Teens have a tough time making healthy choices because they’re overwhelmed. The good news is teens are able to use a wide variety of coping skills because of their ability to think abstractly. They can identify the potential negative consequences of their behaviors, they can tell you what the healthier choices are, and they can advise their friends to make better choices. But when it comes to taking their own advice, it’s almost impossible to follow through with the healthier options due to the way the reward center functions during the teen years.
Setting goals and having a plan in place is one of the best coping skills to teach your teen. Those who have set achievable goals with a clear plan are more likely to make better choices and feel less stress. For more tips on helping you teen download the free maskmatters app available on apple and google play and read the Generation Stress issue of MASK The Magazine.
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