Helping Kids Handle Stress
Today we live in a fast paced world with high expectations for our children. They are not immune to the rat race we all face in our busy and stress filled days. Sometimes we find that we are pushing our children too hard . The extracurricular activities seem to be increasing and many a parent has become a specialist in taxi service and activity planning. What do we do?
By keeping our kids too busy we sometimes sacrifice precious time for having stronger relationships. However, using the travel time to certain activities can be helpful in developing a closer bond. The key to coping with stress could be having someone to talk to during this travel time.
How much stress can kids handle? Have we made the mistake of treating them as small adults? There is much stress that was once at the high school level which is rapidly appearing now in the junior high or middle school level, such as peer-pressure, and adjusting to sexuality. Because parents are the only ones who observe the total effect of stress on their children, they are in the best position to slow the pace when it is needed. Coaches and teachers may be aware of stress factors that children have but only in their realm of dealing with the children in their specific area.
When was the last time you went for a family walk or had a family picnic? Think about some of the old ways of doing things together as a family unit. It might be cooking a meal together, working side by side, or reading books together. Parents might want to set some time aside just to listen, to find out what their children are experiencing, and to learn what is weighing them down. All of these are good ways to help your kids handle stress. As a parent, avoid the process of being a workaholic and help your children learn to live well-balanced, rest-filled lives.
For more information on stress and it's effects on children, log onto www.mentalhealthamericajc.net or call 1-800-969-6642.