Stress: Are You Kidding Yourself About Your Kids?

chemistry messages Feb 02, 2013

While 69% of parents say their stress had only a slight or no impact on their children, just 14% of youth say their parents' stress doesn't bother them.*

As a stress expert I probably think about how I respond to stress more than most, but the statistic about how our children are affected by our stress really caught my attention.  I like to think I deal with my stress well, but here's what usually happens when I get stressed out:  I retreat into myself.  I get quiet.  I internalize.  I pull away from people, including my family.  Even though I may not be losing my sh*t, crying, or freaking out, I'm still negatively affecting family.  My daughter KNOWS when something's bothering me even though I'm not yelling or flipping my lid.

I guess that's one of the things that's insidious about stress.  Even though we think we're dealing with it well, we're probably not.

Building your resilience to stress isn't just about you.

It's also about how you interact with others - your children, significant other, work team, friends, etc...  Making a difference in the lives of others - especially our children's - is at risk when we're not at our best.

It's not possible to be completely immune to stress, but we need to be diligent about dealing with it in the best way possible.  Here are four common mistakes we often make when dealing with stress and remedies for each.

*From American Psychological Association, Stressed in America, January 2011, Vol 42, No.1

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