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Stress In Kids - Are You Stressing Out Your Children?

Aug 17, 2007
Stress isn't just an adult problem. It also affects millions of kids! The difference between adult stress and childhood stress is that adults are often stressed about the things in our lives, while kids get stressed over the people in their lives and what is expected of them. Far too many kids are being stressed out by parent's high demands and over scheduling. If your kids are showing signs of stress a an early age, ask yourself, "Could I Be The Cause?" To find out, see if you do any of the following:

Treat Your Child Like A Small Adult.
In an attempt to teach kids responsibility, parents oftentimes expect too much. For example, don't consider your child's age, but rather their interest, personality and temperament when choosing appropriate chores. One five year old may love yard work, while your teenager stinks at it. Is it really worth the frustration and stress of forcing a child to do something they struggle with, when the odds are there's another, more suitable chore for them?

Constantly Expect Excellence.
There's nothing wrong in expecting a child to do their best. But when doing their best isn't enough and excellence is expected every time, then a child can suffer severe stress and its affects. Parents who find themselves always expecting the best should take time to re-evaluate those expectations, and find out why having fun and enjoying an activity isn't the real goal.

Keep Children Too Busy.
Who isn't constantly moving these days? We're all guilty of being too busy. Children are no different. In an attempt to expose them to new experiences), many parents actually exhaust them with too many activities, clubs, sports, and outings. Kids need time to relax and play independently in order to grown mentally, physically and emotionally.

Change Routines To Often.
Consistency is especially important to kids. Most don't handle change well; They need to know what to expect and when to expect it. Children who are constantly on the move, never knowing when (or where) supper will be; where they'll be next; or what time they'll finally come home for bedtime, often experience signs of stress and anxiety. A secure routine can help calm their angst and relieve stress from their lives.

Helping kids learn to better handle stress is an important step to becoming a healthy adult. But understanding how much, and what kinds of stress are appropriate for a child to handle are equally important. Being a kid can be stressful enough. Make sure the adults in the family aren't adding to it!
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