Stress is the uncomfortable feeling our kids get when they’re worried, scared, angry, frustrated, or overwhelmed. Stress is a normal reaction to changes and life challenges, and it is common in all cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.
There will always be stress in our children and our lives. Everyday circumstances and changes in our kids' lives, even positive ones, can be stressful, especially if they think they can’t cope. Having the ability, inner strength and skills to face stressful situations, to overcome and to deal with uncomfortable feelings is a powerful thing for our children to develop. We cannot always protect our children from stressful situations, but we can help them develop abilities and confidence to deal with challenges and setbacks. The role of mothers should be to facilitate the development of our children's capabilities to handle the ups and downs of everyday life challenges, rather than being overly protective. Overprotection tends to destroy children's capacities to call on their own coping skills.
Researchers have found that it is not the exposure to the stressful situation itself that causes the stress problem. The culprit is invariably the child's perception of helplessness and their judgment of their inability to deal with the situation. Perceptions of helplessness and poor coping also can cause them to surrender their spirit emotionally.
Children need to feel good about themselves. They need to develop a sense of being able to manage things for themselves as they grow up. They can start learning this from babyhood. There are lots of ways that mothers can facilitate their children to develop coping skills and confidence.
- Give them attention and affection
- Allow them to do things by themselves, and to face up to problems without our interference
- Give them enough space to be and to develop a true sense of their own capabilities
- Allow them to develop confidence in their own choices and decisions
- Show them how to deal with their limitations and failures