It is in the nature of parenthood to wish only the best things for your children. It is, also, a natural tendency, according to the evolution, that adults attempt to teach new generations everything they know and to expect from them to be better, smarter, faster, happier. But, is that always the best thing to do and wouldn’t it be better if we left our children alone, to find their own way?
There are many scientific researches that have shown how dangerous can it be to put children under pressure expecting only the best of them. Their young bodies and unformed brains are not able to endure great pressure based on high expectations which comes from their parents and sometimes it can lead into serious health problems.
What do we do wrong?
First of all, it is important to say that there is positive and negative stress. In some situations, stress is our friend, which immediately encourages the body to produce more adrenaline and other enzymes crucial for survival and making the best results. But, on the other hand, there are many negative aspects of stress. Being under constant pressure, having a lot of obligations, being always expected to do the best thing can produce anxiety, especially when children are in that situation.
Parents often tend to be completely involved in the lives of their kids. Maybe they are trying really hard, wishing them all the best and sacrificing private life for children, but is this the best for them? Having high expectations is not always the worst thing, as long as one knows where to stop.
For example, if you are getting mad and nervous when your child fails to achieve good results in school or in music class then you are the one who is in problem. Don’t you ever think that good marks are something your child owns you because you gave him everything – your child is not your project.
Your son is not your toy, and your daughter is not here to fix everything you have done wrong. What good will it do if you make their day over scheduled? If they always have ten things on mind, they won’t be able to do any of them with joy and passion. Being over scheduled is one of the worst stressors in modern times.
What should we do instead?
On the one hand, parents are not the only factor in producing stress in children because it is also the educational system which forces children never to fail. But, on the other hand, parents are the first who should help their children to feel less pressure in life.
Most of the kids who feel anxious are practicing negative “self talk”. That means that they are talking to themselves about everything bad that possibly happen. Now, as parents, we have to explain them what “self talk” is and to help them avoid negative sentences. Instead of negative ones, we must teach them how to think positively, predicting good results and events. This is the way to help them be less worried and feel more relaxed.
Every kid is specific. While some of them can handle the pressure the others can not. Some of the best sportsmen do their best while they are under pressure, or under stress, because this is when they are motivated to give the most they can. The others often fail when it is the most important to be good because they are not capable of managing stressful situations.
If your child belongs to the second group there are a few things you could do to help him feel less stressed.
- What every parent needs to know is that good sleep is essential for healthy and unstressed life. The one who is well-rested is, at the same time, the one who is well-prepared to deal with daily challenges.
- Sometimes low blood sugar has the same symptoms as anxiety. This is why nutrition is basic thing to think of. Proper food with a lot of proteins is very important if we want to have children that are confident and unworried.
- Increasing heart rate helps burning adrenaline and this is why every kind of exercise is beneficial for children. It can be some kind of sport activity or simply having fun with friends in the playground.
- Maybe it sounds strange, but some distraction is extremely good for mental health while we are over scheduled. This is why you should allow your child to play a video game or watch cartoons between obligations. His mind will get relaxed and ready for the next challenge. According to that, having a stress ball on the table where your kid is learning his lessons can be a right choice.
- Don’t teach your child to be a perfectionist. Everybody has a right to make a mistake, to be under his usual level and lose the game. Instead, show him that everything can be considered as fun because having good laughter releases tension from our muscles and mind.
- Think about the best combination of colors in a child’s room. Every color has a specific effect on our mood. Try to pick a relaxing one.