Parenting, Parental Teamwork, and Children's Stress
Adults are relatively good at communicating to others when they are feeling some level of stress and women are typically better able to communicate their emotions and concerns than men. Children are more likely to act-out when they experience stress and often are less able to communicate their concerns to adults. This is particularly true when there is a breakdown in parent/child communication. As adults we are often not aware that we are sending our children subtle messages that they should not feel what they feel or subtly imply some level of judgment regarding their emotional experience. Statements such as “don't be angry” or 'you shouldn't feel that way tend to interfere with more effective parent/child communication. Some signs of childhood stress might be expressed as defiant behavior, difficulty following directions, overactivity, and an inability to focus. This may be particularly evident in the area of academics. These signs or symptoms are also typical of ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Unfortunately children are frequently misdiagnosed and given medication when this is not necessary. If we are to be effective as parents we can learn to be more mindful and careful of how we communicate with our children. We might for one, be careful to distinguish between our child's emotional experience and their behavior. Secondly, improved parental communication is essential. Both parents need to be on the same page and come to an agreement regarding rules, and parental expectations. Thirdly, if we want to help our children reduce stress we need to be careful not to argue in the presence of our children. Conflict is healthy if it is handled appropriately. But excessive conflict in the presence of our children is particularly problematic. We want children to feel that their parents are solid and can provide clear guidelines which help them feel emotionally safe.
written by Don Recupido