Youth, and even very young children, experience stress in their lives. Often today's children face more adult-like stresses than their parents did as children and at a time when adults are much less available to help them. With many parents working outside the home, young people may be more on their own than ever before.

Stress is a normal part of everyone's life. If we know how to deal with it, it can actually help our creativity, productivity and healthy relationships with others. If it gets out of hand, it can become a problem.

There are a variety of stresses that children may be facing. Their bodies are changing rapidly and they are developing more maturity. Peers may be pressuring them to be like the group. They may feel parents are pushing them to achieve or make up for something they lack. Media presents a troubling picture of what the future will hold for the youth of today due to the failing economy, violence, environmental issues and world issues. All of these may cause stress.

Some signals of stress are:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Lack of concentration
  • Loss of sleep
  • Dropping grades
  • Physical ailments

It's important for parents and other caring adults to help children identify when they may be feeling stressed and to talk about it. Children also need support in identifying stress reducers. physical activity/exercise

  • Hobbies
  • Talking with friends and parents
  • Keeping a diary or writing down thoughts
  • Volunteering
  • Helping others

If you, your children or a youth you know are feeling the impact of stress in your or their life, talk with family members, a school counselor or some other trusted person, or refer to Counseling.

Family Counseling Service of the Finger Lakes
(315)789-2613 or (877)789-2613 toll free
Individual counseling, family counseling, play therapy, sexual abuse assessment and treatment, Hispanic youth groups.

Ontario County Mental Health Center
The center provides psychotherapy, group treatment, family treatment and case management for those with a treatable mental health diagnosis.

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