Just a few days ago, my 9 years old son asked me if it was more stressful to work than study. Sensing something wasn’t right; I asked him if something was bothering him. He replied gloomily, “Mommy, I feel that I can’t breathe, why is there so much homework everyday?”
Indeed, we live in a competitive environment today. Parents nowadays have high expectations of their children and by trying to do what they think are the “best” for their children, they have indirectly impose stress on them.
Ok, I admit, I am guilty myself! I have a smart boy and because he is bright, I have high hope of him. I want him to do well in school and unknowingly, I am inflicting stress on him. Now, I’m keep asking myself, am I doing this for him or for myself?
Stress by itself is not a bad thing. Having the right amount of stress can motivate a child to strive towards his goals. Stress becomes DISTRESS when it is overwhelming. At any stage in life, there is bound to be some stressful events and as they grow from one phrase to another, they will be put in new situations with new challenges and this would again lead to stress.
We as parents cannot eliminate the stress our children are going to face but what we can do is to teach them how to deal with it. However, before we can even do that, we need to understand and do one thing ourselves. We as PARENTS need to set realistic expectations on our children based on their ability and not ask for anything more than they can handle. I know it is easier said than done but then again, we want our children to have a happy and memorable childhood, wouldn’t we?
I’m trying and I hope you are too……
For more reading, visit: http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/stress.html