Your teenager is already stressing about college, what do you do?

Teens know that they will have to prove themselves after high school, and that they are entering a competitive world. They have to deal with many stressful situations, and one of them is making career decisions. Parents can help by reminding their teens of the things that they are good at, their skills and good qualities. Parents need to listen, support and reassure.

As teens go through the different stages of adolescence, one of the most important skills they need to learn is how to cope with stress. Parents who have a good, healthy relationship with their children and teens can openly discuss problems and stresses as well as their teen's reactions. It's easy to succumb to stress overload as a teen, and blow some things out of proportion, or not place enough emphasis on important issues like health and safety. Parents have to help their teens balance all the stresses, and one crisis that both teens and parents have to deal with is the big question of what comes after high school. When teens start to stress about college, parents should help them approach the issue rationally. Help your teens set their goals and assess their abilities. The fear of failure is a major cause of anxiety for teens, and parents have to be both honest and supportive as they help their teen gain perspective and prepare for the future. Teens might not get accepted to their first choice for college, and they have to realize that it isn't a disaster or a sign of failure.

Teens who learn how to manage stress can make better decisions and face the challenges of college without letting the pressure get to them too much. Parents can help their teens define who they are and raise their self-esteem so that they can cope with whatever comes their way, including college.