Family Relationships

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Feeling Stressed? So are the Kids

Girl (12-13) sitting on steps outdoors
Raising children has never been easy for Sandwiched Boomers, but do you think it's even harder today? Parents have always had to deal with providing for their offspring - food, clothing and shelter as well as a supportive and loving environment where the kids could grow into their full potential. Today, in addition, mom and dad are faced with handling the stresses of an unstable economy and volatile social situations. And the worries we feel are felt by our youngsters as well.

A recent study conducted by Harris Interactive and reported by the American Psychological Association found that 75% of American adults are experiencing moderate to high levels of stress. And, for the first time including youth between the ages of 8 and 17 in the survey, APA found that these preteens and teenagers are worrying too - and in greater numbers than their parents estimate. The survey found that children are experiencing their greatest worries about school and about their family's finances.

So what can you do to help the situation for your kids? Don't try to hide your concerns from them. You can't. They pick up signals from you even when you think you are shielding them from your stresses. Instead, keep the lines of communication open. Talk with them about their worries and let them know how you are handling you own ones. The more you are able to discuss the strains affecting all of you, the better you can all begin to cope with them. As you shift the focus to what you can do to address the pressures, your children may be comforted by recognizing that they have an ally - you are working together as a family to decrease the tensions you face. You may not be able to eliminate the anxiety everyone is experiencing, but you can make a first pass at reducing it.

For some tips about coping with the stresses you may be feeling in our uncertain economy, click on the title above. You can read about weathering economic challenges together at oue article, Five Ways Sandwiched Boomers Can Think Positive in Tough Times.

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