The Importance of Raising Children Without Stress
Sometimes, we don’t realize that children no longer have time to be children. We fail to consider that they have so many tasks to carry out every day and that they need to be happy. Raising children without stress is very important, as stress will only produce anxiety and other psychological disorders.
I remember when I was little, I had to do my homework, of course. But I had free time to play and go out with my neighborhood friends to run in the street, as well. Sometimes we even went to one another’s houses to eat… Boredom could arise at any time, but I immediately invented some way to entertain myself.
Nowadays, children have no time to be bored. They can’t enjoy a relaxed and calm afternoon, without any chores or worries. And if they can do it one day, it’s a luxury.
Raising children without stress while respecting their universal needs
Children have two basic and universal needs:
- To feel cared for and loved by their parents and family members
- To have time for free play
Play fulfills a function that can’t be replaced by anything else. Through it, children express themselves, learn, and grow. If we take these needs into account, we can understand what we mean by child stress and we’ll be more aware of the negative influence that some daily tasks have on our children.
Stressful situations experienced by children
- During pregnancy, if the mother suffers stress, this also affects the baby, and their brain may be programmed and in the future, they may have attention deficit or hyperactivity.
- When they’re born, babies need to be accompanied by their parents or closest relatives to feel secure and confident. If we let them cry, they’ll think they’re alone and it will be a source of stress.
- In preschool children, being separated from their parents is a big source of stress, even more so the younger they are.
- In older children, doing 3 hours of homework a day and then going to school for an hour or doing extracurricular activities four days a week, in addition to having spent 6 hours at school, is also a source of stress.
Many of the sources of stress in children are a consequence of the determination that we parents have in society to make them autonomous children too early.
We’re not aware of the consequences that stress can have on the little ones, since an accelerated and busy way of life has become socially acceptable. And this, in many cases, leads to anxiety problems that are rarely diagnosed.
There’s a high prevalence of anxiety disorders among children (between 5 and 20%). Fears may appear; even physical symptoms may be the warning signs that something’s wrong.
Parents, an example of stress in children
Often, the stress suffered by children is a reflection of how we parents are. For that reason, it’s important to reflect and think about the life we lead.
We’re sure that on many occasions you feel that you can’t go on, that you’re overwhelmed, that you don’t have time. And even, at times, you’ve had to resort to some sort of medication to deal with your own stress. Let’s think: Is this normal? Is this healthy? We must simplify our life and that of our children, and this has to be paramount. But how?
We can start by asking ourselves:
- Is it totally necessary for my 7-year-old son to go to the math and English academy 4 times a week? Couldn’t he do his homework, reduce the time he spends on academics, have more time with his neighbors, with whom he likes to play?
- Is it necessary to force my child to go to camp or should I let her choose if she wants to stay and go to the local pool?
The answers to these questions may provide part of the solution. Every child is different and every child has strengths and weaknesses. We shouldn’t overload them with tasks that may cause them stress.
The best strategy is to listen to our children, which will help prevent causing them stress. We have to spend time with them, listen to their feelings, help them express what happens to them and what bothers them, and listen to them. Only this way will we realize when they’re ready to start new activities or when it’s better to wait.
The fundamental lesson of educating children without stress is for them to see that we also take care of, value, and love ourselves, with our strengths and weaknesses. That way, they see that, even if they make mistakes, fail, are afraid, or feel ashamed, we’ll be there to support them and love them unconditionally. Because no one’s perfect.It might interest you...