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Teenage Problems/I am incredibly stressed and my parents are making it worse

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QUESTION: How can I tell my parents they are really stressing me out? I'm in grade 11 and am a competitive athlete, accomplished musician, honours student, and am involved in several leadership councils. My typical day consists of early morning band practice, physics, math, French, and biology, music council at lunch break, cross-country practice after school, about 20 minutes to complete all of my homework and then hockey practice. I get home and have about another half an hour before I have to gO to bed, where I lie down staring at the ceiling for 4 hours because I have insomnia. During the day I have practically no time to relax and am constantly on the go and to make matters worse my parents have been obsessed with me looking at and deciding what universities I want to go to. Today my dad informed me that he's having a hockey scout come watch me play and while that's a great opportunity it is also making me somewhat panicky. My parents are great and are only trying to help but somehow yelling at me about managing my time slots for work and get training is actually making it worse. In addition I am constantly injured, I have stress fractures in both shins and need to give up on distance running and the pain of walking around and skating on fractured legs is horrible. I love my parents but I really need help figuring out how to tell them that they're really hurting me. I'm really tired of randomly bursting out crying and having panic attacks and snapping on my parents due to stress.

ANSWER: Hi Maddy,

Pretty name by the way. I can certainly understand you being a bit stressed with everything you have on your plate right now. It's terrible that you have those types of injuries at your age. We both know that your parents only want what's best for you, but at the same time I don't think they realize the amount of pressure they are putting on you. For goodness sakes, you're only 11 years old. You have 7 more years before you go to a university (unless it's different in Canada).

If I were you, I would sit down with your parents and have a real talk. You all could go out for dinner or something like that. I know it might be difficult, but it must be said. Let your parents know that you appreciate everything that they do for you, but you are feeling a bit stressed and overwhelmed. Let them know that there is a lot on your plate right now and you feel as if they are putting some pressure on you.

Let them know that being overwhelmed has led to crying, panic attacks and outbursts. Then let them know what they can do to help. Let dad know that while you know he's only trying to help, you're only 11 years old and university talk can wait a few years. Now is the time for you to focus on having fun and being a kid. Inform your parents of anything else they can do to help you. They love you, but I don't think they realize they are pushing you too hard. You have to remind them. Good luck Maddy!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Um....actually in Canada GRADE 11 means I am two years away from university and I'm almost 17...But thanks this mostly applies to my question!

Answer
Hi Maddy,

Sorry about that. You did say that you were in grade 11. I read it wrong and thought you said that you were 11 years old. Whoops! Now it makes sense why your dad is pushing the thought of universities on you. I'm glad you cleared that up because I was thinking, "Dang her dad doesn't waste any time," lol. So yeah, I hope everything went well with your parents. They can be pushy sometimes, but it's up to you to let them know when they're about to push you over the edge. Parents aren't perfect and sometimes they need help realizing what you really need. I hope you were able to tell them.

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Scarlet Murdock

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Even though I have no teenagers of my own, I've seen, heard and have experienced a lot of things dealing with teenagers. I take the experience of me being a teen along with the problems and issues teens have today and I offer my opinions and advice. Since I'm no longer in my teens, I'm wiser, which means that I can definitely guide you in the right direction when it comes to solving your problems.

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Teen-Babble.com is a website that I am very proud to say that I am a part of. I created this site for teenagers all over. I wanted to give you a place where you could gain some knowledge, ask questions and see what your fellow teenagers can offer you. Teen-Babble is about sharing experiences, growing and becoming a better person. I am also part of my local Boys and Girls club where I hang out with teens about 3 times a day and help them with anything I can.

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