Dear HCCUA Members:
Have you ever wondered what causes childhood stress? As an adult it can be hard to imagine a child suffering from stress. Unfortunately, studies show that 10 – 20 % of school aged children experience anxiety which could potentially lead to chronic stress.
Many students feel overwhelmed with homework loads, exams, after school activities, pleasing their parents, and getting into college. Some parents consider this “good stress” that creates healthy competition in the classroom and during extracurricular activities. Ideally, you should encourage your child to do hard work but also learn to support and embrace your child’s mistakes and limitations.
Unfortunately, stress is inevitable. The key is to find a balance. Young children simply need guidance from their parents who listen to their children’s needs and make sure they don’t sign up for more responsibility than they can handle.
As adults we must learn to take charge of our lives, thoughts, and emotions. Remember, children are always watching their parents and other adults around them. By demonstrating how you deal with stress in a positive manner, you set a healthy example as to how your children should deal with their own issues. For instance, purposely slowing down your own speech, taking deep breaths to relax, and making sure that your facial expressions suggest that you are calm are exercises you can implement.
Anxiety and stress can be a constant battle and, often the source of a child or person’s anxiety will change over time. With repetition of stress management methods, you and your children can work together to lower anxiety levels and handle anxiety provoking situations. Regular physical activity has been proven to improve both stress resistance and stress resilience. Make sure you and your children are getting plenty of exercise each day!
If you ever feel any situation or emotion is getting out of control and want to seek professional guidance, you and your family members are provided with access to behavioral health experts as a HCCUA member. Included in your e-Newsletter we’ve encompassed an explanation of Licensed Clinical Counseling and the steps to take in order seek advice.
With winter coming to a halt and spending more time outdoors, you can try a new way of making pizza on the grill with this recipe from Delish.com, Eggplant Pizza Bites. This as a fun, healthy meal that could be prepared with your children to help with stress relief!
Kristine Eckardt, Director of Member Communications