You might be surprised at the reaction I receive whenever I tell parents and others that "Kids have stress, too!" Some people say, "I can see that. . ." and others look at me crossed-eye and say, "I wish I had their stress" (then huff & blow it off like kids do not have stress). Well, the reality is Kids do have Stress!
According to Saturday's New York Times:
Doctors say that frequent headaches and migraines are among the most common childhood health complaints, yet these problems get surprisingly very little attention. It is also noted that children complain more of headaches during the school year as opposed to the summer break.
Many doctors note that the real issues behind these headaches may be changes in the child's sleep schedule, including getting up early for school and staying up late studying/doing homework, not drinking water or skipping breakfast and weather changes.
Even just the stress of peer pressure and over scheduling can contribute to childhood stress. As parents and caregivers, it becomes even more important during the school year, to find ways to connect with our kids and give them tools to relax.
- One idea, spend time everyday calmly talking with your child. Don't worry about homework or other school related items during this time. Use it as just a time to connect and share
- Try something fun together - take a bike ride, try some yoga or play a game
- Let your kids blow off some steam. Don't enforce that they get down to work on their homework as soon as they arrive home. They've already spent all day "working" - give them a break
- Use massage to reconnect, share experiences of the day and kick up everyones Oxytocin!