Have you ever wondered if you’re more stressed out than your parents or vice versa? If so, that question may have left you stumped.
Are you stressed out? Yes. Are your parents stressed out? Yes. We all deal with varying levels of stress on a consistent basis.
But are we comparing apples to apples? In many cases, the answer is “no”.
Here are some reasons why.
What Your Stress Looks Like as A High Schooler
Ever felt like your parents don’t take the level of stress you deal with seriously?
Something you potentially heard from your parents was, “I wish I had your problems.” This probably happened after you complained, whined or freaked out about your difficulties.
These words may have come across like your parents were making light of your difficulties or didn’t care.
More likely is that they just didn’t understand. They looked at the size of their stressors and then looked back at yours and wondered what you were so worked up about.
But could there be more to it than that?
Yes. There can be and is.
First, your parents have had decades to deal with stressors that you’re new at figuring out. This means that parents generally have a higher ability to handle greater amounts of stress than you.
This also explains why things seem so hard to you and why your parents wonder what the big deal is.
And that isn’t all. Everything around us is becoming increasingly complex. You’re expected to know more in school than your parents ever could’ve imagined and at an earlier age.
You also feel the pressure and trappings of constant technology immersion. It’s not just academics that are more complex but relationships as well.
There are now oodles of ways to grow or destroy a relationship because of the “techie age.” Fights, break-ups, bullying and suicide all happen because of online activity. So do healthy long-distance friendships and a myriad of ways to give others hope.
Another major stressor?
It feels like everyone’s asking you what you want to do with your life. But, in many cases, you don’t know. No career-direction genie ever dropped out of the sky and unraveled the biggest questions you have.
Questions like what the heck you’re supposed to do with your life. The rubrics cube of your existence keeps getting more complicated. You can’t solve it and everyone you ask can’t either.
One thing’s for sure. The crossroads of your life keep getting closer and closer. You increasingly wonder what you should do and be.
Do you just guess? Do you pursue something only for the money? Part of you says “yes” but another part keeps nagging you not to sell out.
Although you need money, deep down, you realize you exist for a greater reason than simply chasing the “paper.”
Most days, you’re just trying to survive another school day, more homework and maintain some semblance of a social life. Then, you go to bed, wake up and repeat this pattern day in and day out.
What Your Parents’ Stress Looks Like
Your parent or parents feel consistent pressure to protect you from a world that can be cruel and dangerous. Hopefully, they work hard to make sure you have adequate housing, food and clothing.
That in itself is no easy task. There are an increasing number of jobs that do not pay a livable wage. Many parents feel persistent employment and financial stress.
Even if your parents have adequate means to provide, they realize that there are no guarantees it will always be that way.
Besides the stress of providing for you and your family, there’s the need to get along with and enjoy each other despite life stressors (Often no easy task).
Lastly, your parents feel a stress you don’t fully feel yet. The incredible gift and challenge of being responsible for other people besides just themselves.
They have the constant stress of making sure you and others are doing well and will be ok.
Summing It Up
Ok. Hopefully, all that didn’t stress you out too much!
It’s good to know what you’re up against. It’s also good to remember that some amount of stress is normal and healthy.
You and your parent(s) can work together to better understand each other’s stress and help each other out. Stress doesn’t have to overwhelm you.
If you ever feel overwhelmed, we would be happy to help you and your parent cope better. Life can be very satisfying and things can get much better! If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 393-8662, or text us.