I think my daughter is stressing too much

When my daughter is stressed about a silly thing from school, she starts crying and freaking out. She is a bright student, always has a 4.0, but I am afraid she is stressing too much. I’m afraid it’s going to break her. I don't know if I should get her to a doctor or someone because this is not normal.

Kelly Garrity, LMFT
Kelly Garrity, LMFT

It can be confusing and alarming to see ones own child react in such a big and disproportionate way to such seemingly small issues or what look like "silly stuff"

However, while it may make zero sense from the outside, I believe IT ALWAYS makes sense from the inside.   I personally like to keep in mind that young people are learning 'how to do life.'

In fact our brains are under 'deep construction' well into our 20s, and her capacity to cope well with life, especially school and her social world can vacilate greatly day to day.

A couple things you can do:

1)  Validate and describe.  Let her know you see some of what's bothering her AND how much it is bothering her.

The warm embrace that this communcates can be a profound cue for safety and ease in the nervous system, allowing her to borrow and begin to learn some calm and peace from you.

2) Reassure and reach out.  Let her know it's okay to struggle, it's even okay "to not be okay".  And also let her know you can find someone, a professional together to help her feel better and learn some tools to cope with some of the things she is facing that are NATURALLY and UNDERSTANDABLY stressful.  And this last part is profoundly important, even and especially if you are completely baffled as to why she is so bothered!

BECAUSE -  if there is one powerful potent medicine for the brain, it is 'reducing the shame.'  If we trust we won't be judged, we can allow and accept some of the help that we may desperately need.

And as a parent of my own two sometimes baffling teens, the struggle is real for us too!  So I want to say to you - well done in reaching out!  And I hope that some of what I have said here is helpful to you :) 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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