Parents; your stress is stressing your child

By

Parents; your stress is stressing your child
It use to be rare to see a stressed out child, but not anymore. Are you stressing your kids out?


Our kids are growing up fast and 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, they’re involved in more non-family activities, 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, and 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 for you 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:
• Talk to your kids about what is causing them stress in their life, and less about what is causing stress in your own life.
• Focus on helping your child develop a routine to follow each day. Consistency and structure minimize stress in kids.

Article contributed by

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:

The 10 Best Christmas Gifts For Him (And They're Free!)

By

In relationships, we emphasize the importance of building one another up, rather than pointing fingers and blaming; but, guys live in a much different world than women do. This is why the best gifts for him are free. Women are networkers and they bond and connect with other women. Guys are competitive, focused and constantly looking over their shoulder to ... Read more

5 Ways To Stuff Your Turkey With Gratitude

By

Many of us grew up sharing Thanksgiving with family around the dining room table. Our parents or grandparents usually hosted the meal, and we ate with family and became re-acquainted with family we may not have seen since the Thanksgiving before. Times have changed and family members may have moved due to work obligations, school choices and raising families of ... Read more

Baby Boomers: Take Your Marriage From Boring To Blissful!

By

Boomers have always been independent and have made their own way. Nowhere is that showing up more than in marital status. Since 1990, the divorce rate has gone down in the United States for everyone but the boomers. Those over 50 years of age have seen divorce rates double, and if you're over fifty, you've probably seen several of your friends split ... Read more

See More

 
Latest Expert Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Must-see Videos
SEE MORE VIDEOS
Most Popular