Hampton Journalism

Jan Ediger - Guidance Counselor

A few weeks ago, during an 8th-grade guidance lesson, students were asked to name the things that cause them stress in their young lives. Their lists contained a lot of typical sources of stress such as homework, chores, and relationships with peers. However, some students listed items they stressed over that were not as typical. Items such as the price of gas, the price of groceries, and global warming. Cell phones, social media, and the feeling of “being judged” also topped their lists. For me, it was eye-opening to the depth and maturity of the topics our kids worry about. It is no wonder students are preoccupied with everything they have going on in their lives. As you read through the sources of stress, take into consideration what your own child may be facing, and let this article open up the lines of communication in your family.

Academic pressure: Junior high students often face higher academic expectations and a more challenging workload, which can create feelings of being overwhelmed and anxious. Add extracurricular activities and time management, it can add to the stress.

Social pressure: Adolescents are preoccupied with fitting in and being accepted by their peers, which can lead to insecurity and self-doubt. Cell phones, social media, and technology can escalate the problems.

Family issues: Family conflict, illness, financial stress, and other problems can create a stressful home environment that can negatively impact a child's emotional well-being.

Physical changes: Adolescence is a time of significant physical changes, which can be difficult for young people to navigate. Hormonal changes, growth spurts, and other physical changes can create self-consciousness and embarrassment.

It is important that parents and educators work together to support junior high students during this challenging time. This may involve providing academic support, creating a supportive social environment, addressing family issues, and providing resources to help young people cope with physical changes. By working together, we can help our young people navigate the challenges of adolescence and build a foundation for a healthy and fulfilling future.