Many adults believe their children have no reason to be stressed out. They don’t have the pressures of life with the demanding responsibilities that adults experience on a daily basis. However, in many respects this isn’t true. Children can also become stressed by the activities that are imposed on them, which may limit their freedom by creating an emotional sense of personal aggravated restriction.
To avoid this type of negative behavior from your child, take a good look at his or her daily life and relationships. First, what are the daily activities that have been preplanned for your child? If he or she is so busy with extracurricular activities, which aren’t permitting any personal time to think, discover, create, imagine, or play, this may be what he or she finds overwhelming. Always allow your child a slot of time everyday for self-discovery, exterior investigations, and self-expression.
Second, take a close look at any possible loss that your child may have experienced. A death, someone close moving away, a divorce or separation in the family, changing schools, or anything that has disrupted the normal harmony of your child’s life can also produce an imbalance strong enough to wreak havoc on a youth of any age just like it does an adult. Loss always creates pain. It makes children wonder why it happened, if they may have been the cause, and if they can somehow change it and make it right again. Of course, they can’t, and these things are important lessons in life. Where you, as a parent fits in, is to help your child understand what has happened and to learn how to deal with the situation in a healthy way that will remove the emotional strain while redirecting their energies into something positive.
Next, check out the relationship between your children. Do you notice any animosity, guilt, jealousy, envy, or anger? Don’t allow one sibling to overshadow or belittle another. You need to be the interpreter of your children’s behavior to figure out what type of pain or anxiety they are feeling and why. Then you have to be the buffer zone that turns their negative feelings toward another direction by giving them activities that prove their self-worth, along with your understanding, attention, and admiration.
Don’t forget about your children’s friends, schoolmates, neighbors, and members of the extended family. There could be some bad influences in one of these groups that are demeaning to your child personally, creating ill will among other friends or family members, resulting in acts of bullying, causing unrealistic competition, or posing frightening threats.
Many adults are trying to deal with their own daily worries and obstacles, and sometimes forget that a few young listening ears are taking in information that should be kept between the parents. The fear of losing one’s employment, arguing with a direct supervisor, being harassed by a coworker, coping with prejudice, fighting with another family member, butting heads with the neighbor, failing a training class, or being passed over for a promotion can produce the same bad effect on your children as it does you. These are your obstacles to hurdle, not your children’s. Discuss these problems with other adults after the children have been put to bed, or are out of earshot of the conversation.
Disturbing world news discussed on the television with images of war, death, and mayhem in other parts of the globe can create psychological problems for young minds. Stress created by deplorable human behavior can cause a violent reaction, as well as incomprehensible nightmares. Let your children watch age-appropriate shows that are lighthearted or that educate. The best viewing before bedtime is a comedy show or funny cartoon.
One of the best ways to uncover stressful problems such as these as they appear in your children’s lives is to have good, open communication on a regular basis. Never let your children see you respond in a negative judgmental way to their ideas or comments. Always leave the doors of communication open, so your children don’t feel fearful or vulnerable by coming to you and stating what is bothering them. A good way to do this is to turn off the television or any other distraction during mealtime, and make it family time when everyone can honestly and openly discuss his or her ideas, activities, relationships, and feelings.
Make sure your child is getting enough sleep and eating nutrition foods. Sleepy children with bad diets are not only moody, but also develop a lower immune system, causing them to be sick more often, which results in more stress. Make time to go out and play with your children. Let them know how much you love and respect them on a regular basis. Teach them something new everyday. Take them on small trips to see new things. Have upbeat discussions about anything and everything so they can adopt some of your enthusiasm and positive demeanor. Be the example you want your children to imitate, and they will respond as appreciated, balanced individuals.