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How Attuned Are You to Your Kid's Stress Levels?

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Free Stock Photo: A beautiful young girl posing outdoors.

By Lisa Gundlach for SchoolFamily.com

A colleague recently sent me  a link to this blog about kids and stress. Some interesting statistics for parents to digest...

According to a recent survey administered by the American Psychological Association, kids ages 8 to 17 are more stressed out now than they were a year ago. To be exact, one third of the kids who took this survey.  

 The following  statement is what grabbed my attention:

Even more surprising is the revelation that parents are missing their kids' cues. Only 18 percent of moms and dads believed their kids were worried about money, while 30 percent of children said that financial concerns stressed them out. Two-thirds of parents surveyed also fail to realize that how they handle their own stress can influence their kids, while 80 percent of children said they learn their healthy living habits from the way their parents behave.

Now there's something to think about. How attuned are you to your kid's stress levels? How much do you talk about the stress factors in your life in front of them?  How are you managing your own stress and anxiety? 

 No doubt that stress is a part of life. But it's our job as parents to model good coping skills and help our kids learn to manage stress. It's good to introduce our kids to a range of coping techniques at an early age -- so by the time they hit middle school they are well on their way with healthy habits and can handle the stress that goes along with middle school and high school.  

 The author of this blog offers some good suggestions on helping your kids with stress relief: be available, respond thoughtfully, be honest, and seek additional help.  Think that the first suggestion, be available, goes a long way in helping our kids. In order for us to be truly available, we need to address our own stress stuff first. If we are preoccupied, then we are not going to give our kids the full attention that they deserve. 

Think I'll sign up for that yoga class that I've been thinking about -- how about you?! 

Love to hear how you teach your kids to manage stress!  

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Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on the computer before doing their homework?