Ring In The New Year!

by nicholmom3 on December 29, 2007

 by:  Lettuce Wrap

Well, it’s that time again and the stress mounts  on kids, tweens, teens, and parents as school starts.  The stressors include clothes, appearance, grades, peer pressure, sitting in the right seat, getting a good seat in the lunchroom, school violence, gangs, getting the right classes and teachers, sports, clubs, weight, being socially accepted, and not doing anything stupid.  Peer pressure and stress is much higher than when we were in school. 

Many kids and parents feel a growing anxiety over getting  back to school — the morning rush, the dreaded homework and projects, deadlines, and the quicker pace of life in general.  While this doesn’t necessarily mean we do not like school, the advent of the busier lifestyle, along with the new changes that ‘back-to-school’ time brings (new teachers, new classmates, new material) can all lead to increased stress. 

The stress is also on adults as we drop of our kids at school or watch them catch the bus.  Thoughts race through our minds….will they eat a healthy lunch, did we spend enough time on their homework, did we explain it well enough, did we even understand their homework, are they making friends, do they fit in, are we saving enough money for their college education, and the list goes on and on. 

Some of the symptoms of stress in kids show as stomach ache, grumpy mood, crying about going to school, to wanting to stay home.  Fortunately, most children manage to cope with daily stressors in healthy ways, and get through these challenges just fine.  But, it is a fact that chronic stress can take a toll on young bodies and minds.  Every child and adult needs to learn good stress management strategies in order to be successful in life, and moms can help teach and model these skills.  By learning simple, healthy techniques for managing daily stress and pressure when they are young, kids can avoid turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms later on. 

A healthy diet is essential to help the body cope with stress.  Did you know you can reduce your stress just by eating right? Poor nutrition actually contributes to stress.  Despite best intentions, many people find themselves falling short of their recommended daily allowances of fruits and vegetables.  Make sure you incorporate the guidelines for the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables for your family as much as possible.  Put your family on a good vitamin supplement to make up for the short-comings of their daily intake.  Juice Plus+®  is a great way to make sure everyone gets their recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables.  I have my family on both Juice Plus+ and a great Omega 3 Gummy called Brainiums DHA®  by Nutrilite that tastes great!  The key Omega-3 fatty acids you child’s growing brain needs to supoort focus, concentration, and learning.

Here are some quick and easy stress-buster ideas to teach your kids:

  • Get regular exercise.  Stress raises the level of the hormone cortisol, which causes unpleasant symptoms like racing heart, sweaty palms, and shortness of breath. Exercises lowers cortisol and raises the level of other brain chemicals that produce the feelings of well-being. 
  • Spend time everyday doing something fun.  Read a good book.  Listen to music.  Daydream.  Overscheduled kids are often overstressed kids.  A little downtime is not only ok, it’s crucial. 
  • Get adequate sleep and nutrition.  Sleep-deprived, sugar-fueled kids can’t focus, moderate their moods, or think critically about ways to solve problems. 
  • Play with a pet.  Medical studies have shown that petting a dog or a cat can significantly lower blood pressure and heart rate.  If your household doesn’t include a furry pet, a friend’s will do.
  • Try some deep breathing.  Relaxation exercises are a proven way to reduce the physical and emotional effects of stress.  They don’t have to be complicated; the easiest techniques is to simply take slow, deep breaths to the count of 4, focusing on filling up the lower belly with air and exhaling completely each time.  Repeat for 5-10 minutes for maximum effect.  Kids and adults of any age can benefit from deep breathing in times of anxiety and stress.
  • Have an evening relaxing bedtime ritual such as listening to quiet music, doing a relaxation exercise, or just talking together about the events of the day as a way to practice good coping skills on a daily basis.  It will be good for your kids as well as you.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tricia January 1, 2008 at 7:16 pm

This is so sweet with it being your DSs birthday. I love the idea of staying in with the kids and doing the fondue and cider. Might have to incorporate that into my family as my boys get older.

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