Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Children and Stress

How it affects them. To quote:
“Parents are grossly underestimating the impact that their stress is having on their children,” says Katherine Nordal, a psychologist and executive director of professional practice for the association, in a news release. The findings ring true with me. I was often surprised to learn that my children knew I was stressed-out during times I thought I was doing a good job of protecting them from it.

One in five children say they worry a lot about problems in their lives, but only 8% of parents report that their kids are experiencing a lot of stress.  And parents’ teachings about healthy habits aren’t always sinking in. The attitude gap is biggest on the topic of computer activities: only 31% of youth think it’s important to get away from the computer now and then, vs. 75% of parents. Large numbers of children, in fact, turn to computer video games or other sedentary activities, such as watching TV or listening to music, to calm themselves when stressed, the association says.

Underestimating kids’ stress when they are young, and failing to teach them how to manage it, risks setting long-term behavioral patterns that could harm their health, putting children at higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and depression, the APA says.


Julygirl said...

Going outdoors and playing imaginary games in a world of their own creation is quite stress relieving as well, besides the benefits of exercise and fresh air.

Linda said...

I agree with Julygirl. This is not to brush aside the stress placed on children in a home where there are tensions or where parents are very frazzled or upset. Fighting between parents is extremely difficult for children. But I think it is best to enable children to be outside from an early age. In fact, in our family, we were regularly tossed outside to play with other kids and that was that. The result was physical activity--a big stress buster--and fun with other children. Plus the outdoors itself is soothing for children if there they're in the midst of greenery or snow.

Julygirl said...

We went out everyday no matter what the weather barring a hurricane, and I encouraged the same with my children. I remember putting boots on and taking them off and putting them on and taking them off while trying to bend over at 8 months p.g.