Perhaps Lisa Damour is on to something here. Stress doesn't completely deserve a bad rap. Coddling our kids to the point where they aren't reaching beyond their comfort zones will only lessen their ability to become resilient later on in life. Damour makes reference to her working with adolescents and uses the metaphor of building muscle with weights, comparing teens' ability to manage stress in a similar way. Undoubtedly, new demands for growth can be invariably stressful, but the answer is not about vanquishing their stress loads. There needs to be more discussion on "recovery" and how our teens can learn how to relax and recover in between academically demanding workouts. Restoring themselves on a social and emotional level is a crucial piece to teenagers overall mental and physical well-being.
The first step in helping our kids from stress? Don't try to rescue them. Give them "big kid" recess time- talk it out, hang out, exercise, socialize, play games, do art.