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back to school

by Ann Marie Dobosz, MA, MFT

It’s the start of a new school year. For healthy strivers—kids with big goals and high standards—this is a time of excitement, anticipating the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. For perfectionists—kids with impossible expectations and intense fear of failure—this is a time of high anxiety.

How can you help your adolescent or college-age child be a healthy striver rather than a destructive perfectionist?

A Letter from the Authors of Transforming Stress for Teens

Worry about an upcoming math test, anxiety about feeling pressed to try drugs, pressure to get better grades, fear of being harassed by a classmate; that all can add up to feeling a lot of stress if the emotions of worry, anxiety, pressure, and fear are left unmanaged.

High school can be a psychological battle field. Social challenges, getting involved in serious relationships for the first time, the pressure to succeed in school and in sports, the in­creasing amount of extra-curricular activities young adults are expected to undertake all add up and can lead to stress, self-doubt, interpersonal conflict, intense mood swings, and the feeling of being overwhelmed and even lost.

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