Children And Stress:
Is stress avoidable when you have kids?

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Children and stress, does it always have to be this way? No, of course not and I’m sure there are many people out there who would say that they did not find having children stressful at all (I’d like to meet one of them, wouldn’t you?).

Unfortunately for many of us the various life stages present their own unique challenges to everyone within the family and the trick is knowing how to minimize the negatives.

As children grow, they also go through different emotional stages and each stage brings its own stresses, not only for the child but for those around them too.

One of the major worries parents have is that they feel anxious that they are not doing enough to bring their children up in a happy, healthy environment.

Giving them all the best things in life and providing them with opportunities for a happy and successful life. However studies have shown that there are really only two things which have any real bearing on family happiness:

  • Children feel loved and secure all the time.
  • That there is communication within the group and that children are encouraged to share their feelings and views without fear.

Helpful Tips Related to Children And Stress 

  • Both parents should take equal part in family life and share roles within the family group. Good cop, bad cop should be left at the police station.
  • Set out and discuss with the children the rules of the family. Agreement and understanding is key to discipline to family life.
  • Always be open and honest with your children. Trust is very important.
  • Discuss through problems rather than have shouting matches.
  • Spend time together and arrange family outings. Involve the children in their preparation i.e. making picnic food etc.
  • Encourage children to develop outside interests and support them in these.

All of the above may sound like common sense or even pie in the sky, but believe me, they are simple to implement (with patience and time) and will reduce family stress in the long run.

Adolescence And Family Life

I remember when I was growing up there were constant rows about playing music too loud, coming home late, not doing homework etc etc. The house seemed like a constant battle field and my parents were the enemy. Now I am all grown up I realize just how stressed and worried my parents must have been and yes, I do feel ashamed.

In my defense I was going through some major changes and stresses in my life too:

  • Emotionally I was discovering who I as and how I fitted in with society
  • I was worried about exams and my future
  • I was pumped up with teenage hormones and the opposite sex was becoming an increasing interest.
  • My body was changing and this can often be embarrassing.

So going through adolescence as you can see is not only stressful for the child but also the parents too and this is why arguments are probably at there most hostile at this time in family life. There is however one way both parents and the adolescent can make the situation easier, Communication.

Yes, good old talking through issues with your parents or with your child is so over looked, but can prevent so many conflicts which when you look back on are trivial.

Children And Stress - Tips For Both Parents And Adolescents:

  • Realize that things are changing and try to accept them rather than fight against them.
  • Trust your child and give them more flexibility but make sure that you have discussed the boundaries.
  • Make sure you enforce rule breaks; a sense of discipline still needs to be kept within the family unit. After all trust works both ways.
  • Give your children some privacy.
  • Be open with your parents, see them as your friends not your enemies.
  • Realize that your parents will worry about you and try not to give them anything to worry about.
  • Talk through any disagreements with your parents, find out exactly what they object to and why. It may help to make you see their side of the story, or you may be able to reassure them.

Children and stress should not be two words that are automatically associated with each other and if the tips above are carried out then it should be less of an issue.

› Children and Stress

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