What is Stress? • Stress is a mismatch between the demands in our lives and the resources we have to deal with those demands. • This mismatch is often caused by changes, either large or small • Stress is not an event, but your reaction to the event
Major Causes of Stress for children • Pain, injury, and illness • Divorce or Financial Crisis of the family • Death or loss of a loved one.
Additional Stressors • Tests • Homework • School • Grades • Busy schedules • Fights with friends • Bullies • Family problems • Wanting to be like by others • Worries about world events • Team tryouts
Children's Responses to Stress Children respond by what they experienced in the past • insignificant to adults, but small changes can impact a child's feelings of safety and security.
What is Stress Made of? • It’s physical-fight or flight response, adrenaline. • Our bodies are all geared up with nowhere to go…if we do nothing we remain in a state of unproductive tension Examples- • Instant Replays • Lack of Sleep • Illness
Continued • IT’s Mental- Stress is not all in your head, but that’s where you start -Events don’t cause stress, it’s how you interpret and react to them
Continued • Stress CAN be GOOD! • Most people work best under pressure • It can be a powerful source of growth • We often learn the most when we are forced to
Continued • Stress is Harmful • Stress hurts when it becomes a way of life Heart disease, ulcers, cancer, anger, and drugs.
Brief Stress Tests • The Annoyance List • Overload Assessment • Personality Type • How much stress can you take by Dr. Thomas H. Holmes Kids Love THEM!
Their beliefs • I have to be the best at everything • Everyone must like me • I Cannot make a mistake • If someone disagrees with me, they don’t like me • I can’t make a decision, because if it’s wrong, I’ll regret it forever • The embarrassment will NEVER end • Life isn’t fair • It’s just bad luck
SYMPTOMS • Cry more than usual, frequent, urination, grinding teeth, nightmares, BAD LUCK • Can’t sleep/sleep more • Eat More • Irritability/overly sensitive • Caffeine/lack of food/change in diet • Manifestation of pain, migraines, obsessions • Difficulty focusing/constant motion • Don’t feel like doing anything/lack of emotion
Ahhhhhceptance • Of all the things we’ve worried about, how many came true….Multiply by 10 for a kid. • Has this happened before, what did I learn, worst possible , scenario, 5 years from now, magic carpet • Pain body • Responsibility
COPING • How do we cope? • Flexibility • Receiving constructive criticism openly • Dismissing negative attacks • Taking control of your actions..accepting when YOU messed up • Talking about it….I am really mad right now and it’s not your fault but… • BAD= Denial
Make a list • Problems, Challenges, Possibilities • Irrational statement-make it rational • Make Connections-OPRAH- people who feel lucky have friends, relatives, work colleagues..etc., Help your kids make those connections • ALWAYS remember kids model what YOU do • Chores can calm you down • Animals can be therapeutic too • Worry Jar
Proven Stress Reducers • Get up early • Journal • Draw it, paint it • Don’t put it off • Be prepared to Wait • Know you won’t get along with everyone • Help Someone • Laugh • Listen to Music, take a bath • Forgive and forget the past…we all mess up • Breathe
THE SECRET • Vision Board • EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXCERCISE • Positive Self-Talk • People and the Drama Triangle • One item a week • Motivation- Famous people • Let them make decisions-codependency and it’s effects • The POT • Practice Saying, “NO.” • Rewrite your script- 3 columns (would happen, reaction, self-talk) • Know your Patterns/Triggers- poster (foods)
Resilience Seeks help Sense of belonging at school Low levels of family stress Secure relationships Avoids negative peer pressure
Ways You Can Help • Consistent, dependable, schedule • Monitor TV and news • Calm Time- example- (compliments) • Encourage your child to ask questions. • Encourage expression of concerns, worries, or fears. • Listen to your child without being critical. • Affection and include them situations where he or she can succeed. • Keep your child informed of necessary and anticipated changes such as changes in jobs or moving-Truth • Seek professional help or advice when signs of stress do not decrease or disappear.
Resources Mrs. Gail Hague-Duquesne University Stress can Really Get on Your Nerves! By Trevor Romain & Elizabeth Verdick More Stuff to Help Kids Chill Out- The Anger and Stress Management Book By Jerry Wilde, PHD Jayne M. Treinen-Yager and Geoffrey Yager, PHDs- University of Cincinnati