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Parents can help relieve their teen's stress

January 26, 2012 8:13:35 PM PST
Nicolette, Christina, and Rosanna take 5, and the way they tell it, high school juniors only have about 5 minutes to spare, between schoolwork, sports, SAT's, and college prep.

So how can you manage teenage stress? Todd Patkin wrote the book "Finding Happiness."

"We think that the key in life is to succeed, succeed, succeed at all expense, but it should be happiness," Patkin said.

Patkin says parents must help their teens find happiness, and balance.

The first tip according to the author is to focus on the positive.

"If they bring home a report card and you're not as happy with the grades, focus on the A's, not just on the one C," Patkin said.

"I know they want the best for me, but it's just a lot of pressure sometimes," Rosanna said.

"I don't want to let them down," Nicolette said.

"As long as they're trying, they don't have to be perfect. Kids, even though they won't admit it, the most important thing in the world to them is to have the love and favor of their parents," Patkin said.

Encourage teens to have other positive people in their life, and positive stress relievers, too.

"Just talking to my friends definitely makes a big difference," Christina said.

"And also with athletics. When I work out it relieves stress and I just drop everything that's on my mind," Nicolette said.

Another Patkin tip: parents, don't add to teenage stress.

"You have to play a sport, you have to take piano. Maybe one week, the kid wants to sleep in, maybe one week, maybe one week his bed isn't made. Pick your spots with kids. Let's not feel like everything has to be perfect," Patkin said.

Don't make a teenager feel like she or he has to be someone else.

"My teachers compare me to my three older sisters. I feel like you can't focus on the present when you're trying to be someone else. You can't be true to yourself," a teen said.

Despite the teenage stresses, Nicolette, Christina, and Rosanna keep a healthy outlook.

"I feel like we have to enjoy our high school years," one of the girls said, "You don't want to say, 'I had a really tough time, there was so much stress.' You want to say, 'I had a fun life.'"

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