We live in an extremely competitive world, one that poses challenges and problems for not just adults, but also for children. From the moment a child is born, he or she is subject to a host of expectations, first from their parents and then from the rest of the world. As long as they are unaware of these expectations, they don’t feel any stress, but the minute they begin to realize their feelings and that of others around them, they are subject to both peer and parental pressure. If stress is a killer for adults, it’s worse for kids because it destroys their childhood and makes them grow up into temperamental and frustrated adults. The best you could do for your child is to help minimize the stress in their life by:
- Not pushing them to do what they don’t want to do: Most parents make the mistake of living their lives through their children. They want their kids to do all that they never had a chance to do when they were growing up. But instead of thrusting your expectations on your child, it’s best to let them decide what they want to do with their lives. Just as you feel that your parents never gave you a chance, don’t let your kids grow up the same way. Encourage them to follow their heart and do what they want to do, even if it means that they are not doing what you want them to do.
- Not comparing them to other children: Every child is different, so it’s not right to compare your kids to other children, either favorably or otherwise. It’s not good to praise them too much or belittle them for their shortcomings. When you are effusive in your praise, you discourage them from working harder in future; and when you criticize them too much, you are attacking their self confidence. Children should be given the right amount of encouragement and praise so that they remain level-headed and understand that win or lose, they must not lose confidence in themselves.
- Encouraging them to reach their goals: They may be just kids, but you’d be surprised at what they want to do with their lives. Their goals may be far-fetched or even impossible, but instead of laughing them away, talk to them and tell them why they cannot achieve such dreams in the real world. Tell them about the options and opportunities that are available to them and encourage them to play to their strengths and use the talents that they have instead of aping their friends.
- Making it easy for them to talk to you: As a parent, you must be accessible to your child, especially during their teen and pre-teen years. Don’t be a judge, rather, be a friend who they can approach with any problem without being afraid of the repercussions. This reduces their stress levels when they get into trouble or find themselves in unexpected difficulties.
- Understanding peer pressure and helping them deal with it: Children can be mean and insensitive most of the time, so if your child is feeling the brunt of peer pressure, help them deal with it and move beyond it. Encourage them to share whatever is bothering them with you so that you can help them get over it. Don’t interfere in their problems unless asked, and as much as possible, don’t embarrass them in front of their friends when they’re at an impressionable age.
Children can learn techniques to reduce stress, anxiety and anger while improving their self-esteem and confidence by using the stories in book and CD format from the Indigo Dreams Series. Relaxation music is also available to help kids settle down at bedtime and or transition time. Parents should consider the Family Packages which include books and CDs. Find which one is right for your situation, read the endorcements or feel free to give us a call at 770.321.4066.