Time To Do Something About “Stressed” Teens
Date: November 27, 2015
“I am stressed” this is a phrase we hear more and more from students and young people under the age of 18, school aged students who are stressed due to school work and pressures of teenage life. “Stress” used to be the complaint of over worked employees and over scheduled adults, but now the reality is that teenagers are suffering from this plight and we as educationalist, parents and responsible adults with a part to play have to sit up and start to question why young people are stressed.
One argument is the education system in a number of countries is putting so much pressure on young people to achieve that they have started to base their self esteem on exam scores, they have started to measure their self worth on how well they do at school. The balance in education has gone too far down the road of attainment, educating the brain and not allowing enough room for creativity and heart led education.
There are 100 of angles to look at this subject; education, society as a whole, parental pressure, peer pressure, personal expectation, the list goes on. However as an educationalist with a passion for business, education and the development of young people, I choose to focus my attention on what schools and educational programs, like ISSOS, can do to alleviate or even better, eliminate stress amongst young people and as a result, hopefully do the same later in life.
I was recently interviewed by The Times Education Supplement, regarding “stressed out students”, looking at the differences we see in students who come from different educational systems.
What can we do to eradicate stress?
When it comes to reducing and eradicating stress amongst young people there are some key ideas that need to be present to achieve this (each of these will be written about in more detail in the future as each is a larger topic in itself). As an educational program or school we have a responsibility to create an environment of: safety, lack of judgment, love and acceptance, creativity, freedom and encouragement. Additions to education such as mindfulness, exercise, diet and engaging in activity where there is no grade or pass or fail, are important.
At ISSOS, we have been conscious of this rise in stress in young people and the lack of focus and negative effect on self esteem that this has, for a while and so when ISSOS started we created a program to address this; Youth Leadership.
ISSOS as a whole was created to ‘create a safe place for people to learn and grow’, however the youth leadership program formalizes many aspects of this by making sure students can reach their personal goals, believe they can do and be anything they put their mind to and teaches them techniques like mindfulness and how to develop their emotional intelligence.
Life is hard enough for teenagers without adding stress in to the mix, therefore we as educationalists or just as responsible adults, have a responsibility on our part to help create an environment where young people can thrive and grow.