Signs that Your Katy Area Student is Overwhelmed with Pressure.
By Lorrie Crow Kimble | KATY MAGAZINE, September 2017
Katy teens and tweens have much more to deal with than kids from 10 years ago. They are feeling pushed to get involved in illegal activities or to dress a certain way or to over excel in school. Peer pressure will always exist, but the teens of today seem to feel the most pressure to find lasting friendships, succeed in school, and make their parents happy.
Finding Positive Friendships
“Friends are a very important part of teenage life,” says Wendy Severance, owner and director of Be Unique, a Christian-based organization. “Most stress can come from finding yourself in the wrong group of friends. Teens tend to hang out in groups of people and it’s difficult to find the right fit for everyone,” she says. Severance adds that if friendships don’t have a comfortable and easy feeling, chances are they aren’t with people who have similar values and principles as they do, which could lead to trouble down the road.
The Dangers of "Frenemies"
Teenagers often find themselves in what is called a “toxic friendship,” which means your child is hanging out with people who are cruel or judgmental. Instead of making people feel accepted, these “frenemies” cause others to have negative feelings about themselves. The need to fit in grows stronger as children age. It can be seen at the junior high and high school level with things as simple as clothing and technology. “When I started eight grade, all of my friends had cell phones. I didn’t have one and my parents wouldn’t buy me one. My friends started to make fun of me and they didn’t want to hang out with me as much. It really hurt my feelings,” shares Torri L.*
Friends can often be seen pressuring others in their group to get involved with dangerous or illegal activities. One parent says, “It’s easy for teens to stop thinking for themselves and allow themselves to be influenced by those friends they think really care about them. It’s our job to remind them to stop and think ‘Do I really need to do that?’ and ‘What would I be getting out of it?’”
Local freshman Samantha A. agrees, “I think I should just surround myself with people who have positive energy, who make me happy, and accept me for me.” Severance advises teens to work toward building stronger relationships between themselves and their families, as well as God, and spend more time with the people who truly care and love them for who they are.
The Pressure to Succeed
Teenagers report feeling more stressed out than adults, with school being a main cause, according to a new survey from the American Psychological Association. Payton J. agrees, saying school is what causes her the most anxiety. “There’s a lot of pressure put on students to know exactly what they want to do with their lives as early as junior high,” she says. “I want to explore many different areas before I have to commit.”
"There’s a lot of pressure put on students
to know exactly what they want to do with
their lives as early as junior high.”
- Payton J.
“I feel pressure to perform at high standards because of teachers, the standardized tests, SATs, and ACTs,” says Jonathon D. “I also feel pressure about getting into college because only the top students go.” Dani D. says she has anxiety about keeping her grades high while putting in as much time as she can into volleyball and training. “I try to meet the expectations of my parents and my coaches.” It’s