Manage Your Stress To Manage Your Child's

By

Children act out their parent's stress.Tummy aches and crankiness may belong to mom and dad.

 

Kids are growing up fast in a generation with electronics their parents never knew. Recent family statistics mention that on average 53 hours per week of a child’s life is spent interacting with some sort of screen media. Kids are sleeping less and they’re involved in more non-family activities. They're being treated more as confidantes to their parents rather than their child, and have less time to be still or interact with family.

This doesn’t come without consequences. One of those consequences is increased stress. A second consequence is a need for immediacy and awkwardness with normal communication. Kids also feel more overwhelmed with emotions they don’t understand or have the ability to process.  The brain changes as we grow and continues to change as it acquires new information. An overload of information or inability to manage the information leads to anxiety, depression, and stress in our children and the evidence is everywhere.

Attention deficit disorders are a real issue, but environmental influences cannot be overlooked. Many parents are as stressed, if not more than their children, and when children don’t understand what is going on it is likely they will try to help mom and dad by taking on some of their unspoken worries and concerns.

Parents traveling with their jobs, taking on more work, venting personal information to their children, or signing their child up for one more class or activity at night to help with carpooling may help everyone get home, but it may also be the very activity that pushes a healthy balance to an unhealthy point for their child. Just as parents need “down time,” their children do too. The loss of childhood is a serious and complex problem facing many families in America.

How can we protect our children’s youth, help them manage necessary stress and minimize unnecessary stress? Below are a few suggestions for parents in managing their own stress as well as helping their children.

Parent’s stress:

The number one way to manage stress for parents is to prevent it from happening. Prepare yourself as a parent to not expect perfection, and instead focus on being happy and raising kids who feel good about themselves. The easiest way to do this is to focus on all you love and what is going great in your life. If your child is getting all B’s with one C or D, focus on the B’s with encouragement toward improving on the C or D.

Minimize stress with exercise and healthy foods. When you make healthy choices you become happier. Taking ten minutes each day to exercise can minimize stress and anxiety while helping demonstrate a healthy lifestyle to your child.

Take care of yourself spiritually. Your faith and beliefs can help you relieve stress. Praying, meditating and sharing your life with a community helps you feel less burdened and is more appropriate as a sounding board than using your children. 

Parents helping their children minimize and manage stress:

  1.  Talk to your kids about what is causing them stress in their life, and less about what is causing stress in your own life.
  2. Focus on helping your child develop a routine to follow each day. Consistency and structure minimize stress in kids.
  3.  Make sure you have a bed time planand your child is getting plenty of sleep. Catching up on weekends is not okay.
  4. Plan family meals rather than going out for fast food. It will reduce stress. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be time consuming, and it allows you to spend more time engaged with your child.
  5.  Plan less of your activities. Journaling or working on hobbies gives children more control and encourages healthy coping and stress management.

You cannot escape stress and some stress is good for us. However, when your child becomes anxious, weepy, and unable to focus it’s time to make changes in your family’s lifestyle. –Mary Jo Rapini

More Parenting Advice on YourTango:

http://www.myfoxhouston.com/story/24662117/managing-yours-and-your-child...

For more information or you FREE MONTHLY RELATIONSHIP TIPS: www.maryjorapini.com
Podcasts:
http://ustre.am/PLWS  Struggling with low libido in your relationship.
Married with small children at home and keeping your relationship close http://traffic.libsyn.com/sexandintimacy/MJR_ep_01.mp3
Improving your body image http://traffic.libsyn.com/sexandintimacy/MJR_ep_04.mp3
Talk to me on my fan page: http://www.facebook.com/maryjorapini
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/maryjorapini
Tweet me: https://twitter.com/maryjorapini
Mind, Body, Soul with Mary Jo happens every Monday and Thursday morning 9 A.M. CST on Fox 26 Morning News. Catch Mary Jo early on Fox 26 Saturday mornings to get your RELATIONSHIP CHALLENGE for the week ahead.
 

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Mary Jo Rapini

Counselor/Therapist

For more information go to: www.maryjorapini.com
Talk to me on my fan page: http://www.facebook.com/maryjorapini
Tweet me: @MaryJoRapini
Read my Love and Relationships Blog on Chron.com
Ask me questions on Fox26 in Houston, TX and watch every Thursday Morning at 9am for “Mind, Body, Soul with Mary Jo” and Friday Morning's at 8am for “Healthy Happy Hour with Mary Jo”

Location: Houston, TX
Credentials: LPC
Other Articles/News by Mary Jo Rapini:

Sleeping In The Nude: Does What You Wear To Bed Affect Intimacy?

By

A recent survey published by Cotton USA reveals that 57 percent of married couples who sleep nude report being happy with their partner. Roughly half of all couples do sleep nude and approximately half of those are over the age of 55. Is it the nudity itself helping couples feel happier with their partner or is the nudity symbolic for something deeper that ... Read more

5 Ways To Survive A Friend Unfriending You

By

A group of my colleagues and friends were talking about losing good friends. One of my friends' situations was a job promotion and a change of location. Her friend cut her off, didn't want to be her friend anymore, and un-friended her on Facebook, leaving her feeling confused and mistrusting. Had this person been a friend at all? Another friend told ... Read more

Fighting Fair Made Easy In Six Easy Steps

By

http://youtu.be/-_G4NpWgyNQ   The one area that most couples do not explore before they get married is "how to fight". It may seem derogatory, or somehow cynical to focus on how you will fight with each other when you are beginning a new life together, but nothing could be further from the truth. Learning to fight fair has health benefits as ... Read more

See More

GET MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

FROM AROUND THE WEB