Don’t Stress Your Kids

Today’s world is a stressful place – and for kids as well as adults.  We all have a lot of pressure in our adult lives, what with workplace challenges and family problems.  It’s so easy to forget that kids get stressed too!

Whilst it’s true that parents have to deal with the stresses and strains of daily living – it’s also true that much of it spills over to the children.  This “fall out” transferred stress can be anything from the parents fighting and arguing about how to handle a certain situation to the parents snapping at their kids because of their own stress load. 

Children can’t always understand this, especially young kids.  But they always pick up on it and are affected by it.  School problems add to their stress, too.  Getting ready for an exam can be a huge problem to a young child.  Facing bullies or dealing with a teacher that may not be very sympathetic can put pressure on them as well.  And for twins schooled in different classes, separation from their twin can be stressful.

And who can blame the stressed out parents if they are so busy dealing with their own problems that they overlook their child’s needs to talk about their own problems?  Pre-teen and teen depression is a serious problem in the western world and is at an all-time high in the USA. 

Adults may shrug off the “lesser” problems of their son or daughter as a petty concern but to your child it appears differently.  Because stress comes chiefly from the perception on stress, we each view our problems from our own personal insight.  A child’s view of the world is not and cannot ever be the same as that of the parents.  But it doesn’t mean that they don’t have a valid stress.

Kids deal with stress in different ways.  Some run with a “bad crowd” and get into drugs or alcohol etc.  Others retreat into themselves and into brooding and depression. 

You can help a young child during stressful times by being a sympathetic listener.  Try not to offer too much advice unless asked.  Try to put yourself in their shoes.  Above all, be there for your growing child or young adult.  After all you know that de-stressing is essential to your long term good health.  The same is true for your child.

How to Handle Workplace Stress

What do you do with workplace stress?  Your boss is on your back to finish a project.  A co-worker has it in for you for no particular reason.  And to top it off you can’t change jobs because the bills are coming in faster than ever.  Besides, this miserable cycle repeats itself no matter where you work, so what can you do?

Since your job entails interacting with other human beings, as 99% of ours do, you have to expect that you will run into friction at some point.  Most people are feeling the stress of the bad economy so they are more sensitive than ever which affects your life, too.  Keeping this in mind can at least help you to relate to others in the workplace. 

If the boss or co-worker is a problem with others, not just you, then taking it to upper management may help.  Pass the buck up to him or her to handle.  Another obvious solution is to try to transfer to a different department.  This might not be so easy in a small company.  It may be easier to retrain to do a different job. 

Remember though, that if you can’t just change jobs or move on, you’ll have to learn to deal with your workplace stress.  As in the schoolyard, there are bullies everywhere.  If you don’t let them get to you, it won’t affect you as much.  But it’s more than an annoyance, you may even have a legal case against the company.

Or, if your workplace stress comes from your overcommitted schedule, or unrealistic deadlines, you might be able to reduce your stress by simply changing the way you view it.  Is there ANY way you could possibly view your stress in a positive way?  After all, a large part of stress is to do with how we perceive it!  And whilst you are reframing your stress wherever you can, make sure you are also following a stress reduction program.

Whatever you decide to do, remember to recognize your stress for what it is.  Do not just take it home with you and dump it inappropriately into your relationship.  By all means tell your partner what’s happening and why you’re feeling stressed out.  But don’t “transfer” your stress.  It won’t solve your workplace stress but it will add relationship stress to your list of problems!