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Though some people contend that millennial teenagers don’t have the same work ethic as previous generations, today’s kids unarguably carry a tough workload at school and feel a greater “need to succeed” than many who have come before them. As many as one-third of America's youth report feeling stressed.

Insert America’s answer of a collective free day! Just after (or just before, in some cases) school starts, a “gimme” day hits the calendar in the form of Labor Day. With origins dating to the late 1800's, Labor Day is designed to celebrate working people.

Seize this moment for your kid's sake. Rather than just binge watching Netflix and throwing burgers on the grill, celebrate family achievements from the past year. Make a big deal out of grades worked hard for and /or achieved. Celebrate after-school jobs, sports accomplishments, and extracurricular contributions such as band and clubs. Or, keep things really simple, by praising the accomplishments of a clean room and chores done without asking.

The idea is to provide a momentary respite from everyday stress while commemorating (and possibly incentivizing) hard work. And, don’t forget, to recognize your own accomplishments. That teaches teenagers to seek out what they’re doing right too!


Parents can help teenagers manage stress and pressure with these tips from the Chicago Tribune:

Limit teens’ screen and digital time.

Manage your own stress appropriately.

Limit online grade-checking to once per week.

Encourage and coach teens to communicate with teachers, rather than doing it for them.

Encourage (and enforce) healthy sleep habits.

Remind teens they can apply to many great colleges, thereby expanding, not limiting, their options and potential.

Remind kids that anxiety and other emotions are normal, despite what they see portrayed on social media and entertainment venues.