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Thursday, 20 April 2017
Clinical psychologists Rachel Andrew and Natalie Powell addressed a large audience of parents on the subject of anxiety and stress in teenage boys. They described the sorts of things boys feel anxious about in today’s world, stressing that anxiety is a normal, healthy reaction and one’s best performances are usually against a background of moderate anxiety.
They described the physical and emotional symptoms of stress and covered specific techniques for helping with each of these. Things that make boys emotionally vulnerable include lack of sleep, over- or under-eating, and use of alcohol. Taking care of oneself, having a range of distractions, good time management and being more assertive are all key to helping. Teenage boys still respond to warmth and nurturing at times of stress and need looking after when things go wrong, just as if they were ill or had broken their leg.
The general advice to parents commenting that their sons don’t want to talk to them is to make yourself available, keep a general conversation going, chat in the car, and so on, but don’t ask them how they feel!
The full presentation from the evening has generously been made available by Rachel and Natalie, and can be viewed here.
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