Last week and yesterday, I wrote about stress and how to manage it. Let us not forget children! They suffer the ill effects of stress just as much as adults and maybe more so since they have little to no control over their lives. Schedule? Someone else does that, and perhaps they remember to discuss it with the child. Activities? Someone else chooses that, and sometimes the child has no say in the matter of how or when the activity takes place.
I recall one student whose mom had a tendency to schedule her child for every single available activity at a Suzuki institute. Finally one summer, the young boy spoke up and begged his mother to enroll him in the basic program. He explained that he got too tired to enjoy his main activities if he had to participate in extracurricular activities at the institute.
Ask your child to take the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's kid-friendly Stress-O-Meter Quiz at bam.gov/sub_yourlife.
There are several wonderful articles on Dr. Laura Markham's "Aha! Parenting" site that discuss ways that parents can connect with their children and help manage children's stress:
Helping a Child Cope with Stress
10 Stress Busting Strategies for Parents
Why Moms Should Care About Reducing Stress
How to Get Your Kid Laughing Instead of Crying
Keep an eye on your child's stress level this week. Are there areas that you could do things differently and that would help your child to reduce the amount of stress in your child's life?