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Stress and the Child

Stress and the Child

How can we help children avoid stress becoming a habit they carry into adulthood?

The accelerating pace of life brings many parents to me, concerned that their children are suffering symptoms caused by stress.

Young people, often over-stimulated by computers, are under pressure before and during exams. Anxiety and general nervousness is often the result.

William, 15, a gifted pianist, was in his first year at school in Somerset. His father explained how public performance made Will acutely nervous.

This was so bad that he was throwing up before playing, preventing him from going on stage and interfering with his regular practice and study.

I showed Will how to improve his breathing patterns and demonstrated some gentle physical movements.

This lessened the symptoms generated by nervous tension immediately.

Soon he learned to manage his stress reactions moment to moment before they made him feel ill.

Wendy, a journalist in London, had a hectic life filled with countless personal and professional demands.

One day, collecting her nine-year-old daughter Lucy from school, Wendy was startled by the teacher\'s comments:very bright, but she\'s the most stressed child I have ever seen\".

There were frequent mood swings and outbursts of bad temper in the classroom, and at home she also showed signs of disturbance.

At bedtime she was so over-active she had difficulty winding down and falling asleep.

Lucy also responded well to the relaxing physical movements and music.

Can we prevent unnecessary stress piling up in young people and becoming a habit in adulthood, risking stress-related conditions such as insomnia, anxiety and fatigue and more serious illnesses like asthma and depression?

By paying enough attention to preventing negative stress reactions, we begin to understand the correct and healthy place that stress and challenge have in our lives.

Surely we can do tis by integrating relaxation time into our busy lives.

To begin with, teaching the importance of relaxation early on in a child life in a calmer and gentler school environment would help to ease some of the needless anxiety and tensions children are facing today.

Relaxation classes and one-to-one sessions could be provided easily.

For instance, there are now available excellent relaxation CDs designed especially for children.

They introduce a world of meditation and relaxation, so helping them to explore their own imagination and creative talents and bring a feeling of calmness to the child.

Submitted: 28-05-2019

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