Hurricanes. Wild fires. Mass shootings. The ticking of the doomsday clock… There’s a lot to be anxious about these days, and it’s not just adults who are finding it difficult to cope with the constant barrage of really bad news; kids are also having a hard time. So what can parents do to manage their own anxiety and help their kids deal with the scary news headline of the day? Here are a few tips on living through anxious times as a family.
At all stages of life, people strive to experience and achieve success; however, there is no universal measure of success, suggesting that different people can perceive and evaluate success in unique ways. For children and adults alike, the way in which we measure and understand our success significantly shapes our understanding of our strengths, abilities, goals, and values. For parents, then, it is important to reflect on how they may be discussing and measuring success with their children as they endeavor to support their children find a sense of happiness and fulfillment in their lives.
For children and adults alike, change is an inherent part of life. All of us, at various points in time, will likely have to grapple with both minor and major adjustments to our lives and routines. While minor changes - deviations from the daily schedule, a new location for a regular activity, a new coach or babysitter - can place short-term stress on children, major life changes - relocating to a new school, a new house, or a new city, for example - can be significantly disorienting and are likely to require more intensive support, even when the changes are fundamentally positive in nature.
“Why do you talk like that?” I heard the question come from behind me as I helped another child in the Sunday school class. “It’s just the way I am,” I heard my sister-in-law wisely answer the curious boy. My sister-in-law, Kara, was born with Cerebral Palsy. She was helping me in the Sunday school classroom that day when one of the kids noticed her speech was different. Kara has been taught to answer, “It’s just the way I am” after years of questions about her differences.
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