Managing Stress – Does Your Family Have A Plan?
By Sadie Foster, MA
Lack of stress management has been linked to heart disease, decreased immune function, behavioral problems, difficulty sleeping, decreased school and or work performance, headaches, stomachaches and many other problems. You’ve probably heard those things before – but did you realize those things are true for children, teens, and adults? The skills and coping methods learned in youth, can stick throughout life even if they are not healthy.
Let’s consider some of the facts. A report released in November 2010 by the American Psychological Association found many disturbing facts.
While parents report similar sources of stress as the rest of the population (80 percent cite money, 72 percent cite work and 72 percent cite the economy as stressors), many also report that family responsibilities are a significant source of stress (73 percent).
Results from the survey suggest that parents feel that they are under a great deal of stress (nearly one-third report feeling this way) and understand the importance of managing it (69 percent say managing stress is important). However, only one-third (32 percent) believe they are doing an excellent or very good job of managing their stress.
While the majority of parents don’t think their children are strongly affected by their stress, children report otherwise.
Nearly three-quarters (69 percent) of parents say that their stress has only a slight or no impact on their children, yet 91 percent of children report they know their parent is stressed because they observe a multitude of behaviors, such as yelling, arguing and complaining.
The study went on to find that children, tweens, and teens are all affected greatly by the stress their parents experience as well as the stress from their own lives.
As a parent, it is crucial to learn to recognize and reduce stress as well as teach the children in the household to do the same.
Your family stress management plan should include
– Defining stress with examples
– Understanding the impact stress can have
– Recognizing what things can cause stress in your lives
– How to find solutions to problems that cause stress
– Where to go for help
– How to develop healthy habits
Decide to make and use a stress management plan for you and your family and enjoy today!
Love and Blessings,