Today parents put in the best licks to buffer their children against any possible danger that can await them, be it strangers on the street or online predators. However, our life today is full of hazards that don’t look like one until it delivers the unwanted results. More than that, we even do not understand that some things may be dangerous to our children.
What are the biggest dangers that parents are worried about today?
It turns out that abduction is a relatively rare: no more than 200 accidents annually in the US. Molestation is typically perpetrated by a person known to a child. The truth is, simple attentive parenting can dramatically decrease the chances of your child becoming a victim of such crimes. Reality has shown that the prominent danger for the kids today is the way we live. Do not be surprised with this conclusion, however; children face as much stress today as adults. And if adults at least try to struggle or cope with it, kids have no idea how to withstand this conditions, and that leads to depression, obesity or substance abuse.
Our society is always anxious, and so are we as individuals. So why be surprised that our children are facing stress every day just like we do?
Parents believe that parenting is one of the most stressful things they deal with. However, children have the stress of being raised as they suffer from the same problems their parents have. Hyper-scheduling, over-activity, hyper-stimulation – all of these has adverse effects on the children's neurological development, and parents should know how to minimize that influence. Let’s admit: children face much more pressure than us, adults: they have to cope with schedules, parents, school, peers and many other things that we are free of. That is why it is our duty to protect kids from stress. No one expects you to drop everything and move to the countryside where life is more peaceful and stressless; however, there are simple things any parent can do.
- Remember: stress kills.
People have a bad habit of making things more stressful than it has to be. Slow down and thoroughly check your way of living to find out, what things can be simplified. If you want your kids to behave better, simply start to slow down your way of living and dedicate more time to them.
- Schedule your time without bigotry
Do not try to stuff all activities you want your kid to do in a limited period of time. Remember: children need some time to dream, to do nothing or to create something. Do not try to entertain them when they are bored – they need this time also. They have to learn to structure their time single-handed without our constant supervision. They have to understand (and we have to understand that also) that life is not the activities they perform but something much greater.
- Encourage kid’s hobbies and creativity
With a proviso – do not push them into the hobby you want him to do. Do not be limited by obvious ones like arts or music – any talent or skill counts. Mind that this activity will bar your kid from the pressures of peer influence, drugs or any other activity that any parent should consider inappropriate. However, if you will start to push your kid to some kind of activity, then you will transform the pleasure of the hobby into another stress.
- Listen to your children
And we really mean it: listen, not simply hear them. Talks with your kid allow both of you offload the worries of the day. Laugh with them – it has a healing effect. If you feel that you can’t dedicate enough time for communication with kids, then develop a kind of daily family rituals – small talk at dinner with sharing the best and the worst parts of the day or morning kisses.
- Show healthy ways of stress reduction
There are many ways to get rid of stress, some of them are unhealthy, like food or alcohol. The best way to escape from stress is to do some physical activity or listen to the audios that teach breathing techniques.
- Search for a school that doesn’t overburden juniors with homework
One of the stresses that all children face is homework – they have to sit in a classroom for the most of the day and when they return home they still have to sit for hours to manage all the tasks. Find out what schools minimize the amount of homework to give children more time for things that really matter – time for creativity, self-exploration and pursuing their passions.
- Select family activities wisely
First and foremost, forget about movies or computer games as a way of family activity that helps to reduce stress. Children need to spend time in nature, playing, observing and relaxing. Of course, taking a child to a cinema is far simpler than to the museum or hiking, but hiking is more appropriate.
- Limit screen time
Advertising, targeted on children, is one of the worst things we see on the Internet – children are likely to act on the ad’s message even if they think that they are not affected. That’s why it is advisable to limit the screen time, be it a TV or a computer. Watching TV increases stress levels, causes nightmare and makes children more anxious.
- Limit time spent with mobile phones
Handheld devices are another problem, as children soon become addicted to their phones. When your kid is at home, ensure yourself that his phone is not in his hand.
- Pay attention to sleep time
Sleep deprivation is one of the massive reasons for stress. Discover the time when your kid gets up on his own and stick to it.
- Be an example for your children
Observe your own behavior and attitude. Your stress influences your kid greatly, so take care and avoid stress.
- Develop connection between you and your children
All children without exception want to spend more time with their parents. Your support and communication are major ways of reducing the stress of your kid – so get the most of it!