This video about family stress gives
an illustration of how a parent manages the stress of dealing with a child who
has begun to skip school. Many parents feel helpless to deal with challenges such
as this one and it can be a slippery slope to other more problematic behaviors
in the future.
The child feels that her reasons for skipping are valid and that her mother just doesn't understand what she is going through. This is a common theme with stress in families - communication breakdown. Being engaged with your children all through childhood is the key to helping your child deal with stress so they don’t drift away from you under the pressure of the mountain of stress they face each day.
At first the mother is frustrated and gets upset, but then she takes a deep breath and rather than power tripping and using unreasonable anger or reverting to a passive or jellyfish parenting approach to dealing with family stress, she chooses to gather more information and listen to the child. She chooses to become fully engaged.
In doing so, she sees that the problem is bigger than first understood and she is able to intervene to help the child; thereby avoiding unnecessary failure.
How do you deal with family related stress? Do you jump to conclusions and get upset or do you listen and investigate before reacting?
For many of us, being responsive instead of reactive is very difficult. We are already stressed out and we just don't need one more headache. We feel resentful that a member of the family is causing us even more family problems.
Unfortunately, the stress does not disappear without help, just like Juliana's math problems. In fact, allowing parenting stress to go on and on can do quite a bit of damage to us, physically.
Not only does the problem grow worse, but repeated use of this parenting style causes the body to produce many free radicals because the body is kept in a state of acute and chronic stress.
The next thing you know, the free radicals have begun to do damage called oxidative stress and oxidative stress is now known to be the leading cause of more than 200 chronic degenerative diseases.
Once you have dealt with the strong emotions, you will be far
better able to move towards understanding the problem, so you can break
it down and solve it.