Parent Connection – Stress And Children

We all realize the stress that occurs in our lives every day. Sometimes it feels like the demands that are placed on us are overwhelming. We feel like “checking out” when our minds and emotions are on overload. But have you ever thought about stress and how it impacts your child’s life? Did you know that children today live under tremendous stress and pressure? See if you can recognize any of these stressors that could be present in your child’s life.

  • Separation/Divorce
  • Violence
  • Single parent home
  • Peer pressure
  • Blended family
  • Fast pace of daily schedule
  • Poverty or unemployment
  • Television
  • School trauma/bullying
  • Academic success

Some call the times we live in “the age of anxiety”. Fractured marriages, disconnected families and harried parents make stress an everyday occurrence to many of our children. Even with a loving dad and a committed mom in the home, society bombards our kids with stressful messages- “Watch out for being mugged on your way home from school.” “Join the soccer team at four years old.” “Wear designer jeans or you won’t be accepted at school.” “Just tell your teacher you were sick, she’ll never know we went to the park.” These stressful messages bombard our children and have a lasting and damaging effect on their lives.

Children under stress often complain of physical ailments. They sometimes withdraw and become isolates. Aggression can also be a sign of overload and stress. Children who are under stress often display restlessness and a diminished ability to focus on tasks. Stressed children just don’t know how to have fun!

Parents can make a big difference in diminishing stress in the life of their child. The first step is being aware that stress is present and active in the family. There are some stressors that can easily be removed such as limiting TV and avoiding the peer pressure that surround families. For example, your child will not miss out if he does not join little league until the right time, or does not know how to operate a computer at seven years. Parents can also slow down the pace of their child’s overloaded life. An atmosphere of openness and acceptance needs to flow in the home so children know that no subject is “off limits” for discussion. Just encouraging frequent conversations – without judgements- about tough issues helps children cope with stress that surrounds them.

It is possible to gain control over our busy lives and make choices that will protect our children from undue amounts of stress. God provides us with many resources to find peace and security in His love.

….Karin Klein, Ed.D.,  Administrator, Red Hill School, Red Hill, PA.

Parent Connection Archive

The Busy Bin
Praise and Encouragement
Your Child’s Fears
Your Child and Play
Teaching Your Child Responsibility
Make a Book With Your Child
Getting Ready For School
Learning to Laugh
Learning to Eat Healthy Food
Encouraging Creativity
Stress and Children
TV and Children