Childhood Stress in a Changing World
Adults are not the only ones who suffer from stress-children of today often deal with stresses that their parents never had to face when they were young. They deal with an inordinate amount of pressure from an increasing number of sources, both inside and outside of their homes. In a changing world where the Internet and cellphones have become central to our lives, it is important to remember that digital communications place more demands on our time. Kids may feel pressure to keep up with busy digital communications while they are also trying to keep up with school work and other obligations--an overload that can lead to childhood stress.
Cyberbullying and Internet Concerns
One of the most concerning sources of stress for some kids is cyber-bullying. It is a really ugly form of bullying because it can be pervasive--they can't even escape it at home-because it is "virtual" or digital, it follows some kids home from school. Parent's don't always realize when cyber-bullying is happening if they don't restrict use of electronics or have proper protections set up to monitor what their kids are doing online every day. Another concern is that kids may be trolling the Internet in the name of "research" and finding inappropriate chat forums or content.
It's sometimes difficult to admit that you and the other adults in your household may also be a source of stress in your child's life. It is important to remember that assessing the health of family dynamics is in the best interest of your child and is worth addressing if it is problematic. If you take a look back on your own childhood, you can probably name a few adults in your life who either let you down or caused you some level of stress. Keep this in mind if you observe stress in your child and begin to investigate what may be going on.
Talk to Your Child -- Let Him Know That Someone Understands and Cares
One of the most valuable things you can do to help your child to deal with stress is to let him know that you understand what he's going through, and that you care. Sometimes children (all people for that matter) feel that they are alone in this world and that just adds to the stress in their lives. Don't be afraid to tell your child stories of similar problems that you experienced when you were younger and how you overcame them.
Pay More Attention
You probably have a very busy schedule, but you have to put your life into the proper perspective. What is the most important thing in your world? If it's your children, then they should be receiving the most attention out of everything and anyone in your life. Increasing the amount of attention that you pay your child doesn't mean that you should spoil her or buy her more stuff. It means spending more quality time with her, just sitting around talking, laughing together, watching movies and having fun. This is a major stress reliever for both of you. The earlier you start this trend, the better.
Childhood stress is an issue that shouldn't be taken lightly. Your children should feel positive and inspired to live their best lives possible as they grow into adulthood. Educating yourself on the various modern issues that children are experiencing and staying involved in their lives is crucial to helping them achieve that goal.