The atmosphere you create at home has the biggest impact on your child's stress level. Kids need time to breathe, be creative on their own, and get lost in their own thoughts. They are not packhorses to carry your ego...
Here are a few tips on how to help them:
1. Have a happy home. The atmosphere you create at home has the biggest impact on your child’s stress level. This means you have to cut out the yelling, arguing, bitterness, and discord. You need to show interest in what your kid is doing, dreaming about, and yearning for instead of being too busy with work.
2. Listen. Do you ever just sit and listen to what your child has to say, or are you always barking orders? When my son was a kidlet, he and I had a nightly ritual. I would tuck him in and then lie on top of the covers beside him. The lights would be out, and we would look up at the ceiling and just talk. We’d chat about all kinds of things – school, friends, worries, etc. (it’s amazing how philosophical a 6-year-old can be!). Sometimes that could go on for 15 minutes or so. Then I’d give him a hug and a kiss, and say goodnight. That way, he’d go to sleep relaxed.
3.Don’t overschedule. I think it’s a really sick thing for parents to force their kids to be hyper-involved and excellent at too many things. Kids need time to breathe, be creative on their own, and get lost in their own thoughts. They are not packhorses to carry your ego.
4.Make time for family dinners. Eating together as a family promotes good health and bonding.
5.Focus on learning, not achievement. When I graduated from high school, my father gave me a gold watch. On the back was written what he had said to me whenever I had a big test or exam: “Give ‘em hell.” Not “get all As” or “be perfect.” That’s what you need to teach your kids – that being resilient and doing their best are ultimately what matters.
The Dr. Laura Call of the Day Podcast