Life As a Child Part 2
Children were managing high levels of stress or anxiety on a daily basis before covid changed our lives too and they frequently coped pretty well.
Here are some daily stressors in a child’s life that you may have or have not considered. This is before we even add difficult life events such as the current pandemic, parents separating, bereavement, illness, conflict at home, poverty and racism.
Living in the moment
Lockdown for some children has been beneficial in helping them and us to slow down. Children naturally live in the moment, this is why often getting them to conform to our schedules and expectations of being out of the house by a certain time can create stress at home. Unfortunately teaching our children to fall in line with the adult led world means we pull them out of the present moment, constantly, and take them away from a very healthy way of being.
We can learn a lot about mindfulness from our children but frequently their mindfulness leads to our frustration as being in the moment looking at a snail on the path does not help us get to work on time!
Each day our children are coping with a lot of new experiences. They face so many situations they have never been in before and are constantly learning either formally at school or informally in day to day life or at clubs and activities.
We have to remember that sometimes we expect more of our children than we would be able to do ourselves and we have the benefit of a developed brain! Some children thrive in a learning environment yet many fear failure, worry about meeting expectations or targets and are concerned with fitting in.
Peer relationships are enriching and challenging, confusing yet rewarding. Children often do incredibly well at finding simple and joyful ways of connecting through play yet these same friendships come with a set of dynamics which your child will be constantly having to decipher and respond to.
Even though good boundaries at home and school are important for a child’s sense of safety they are frequently in positions where they have little control and others make the decisions for them. They may have to adhere to schedules and restrictions they do not agree with, or have mixed feelings about that they cannot express.
Frequently children are unable to voice their true opinions for fear of chastisement or upsetting someone important to them.
Children can become caretakers of the adult’s emotions and act in such a way as to keep others happy. Pleasing others and only getting the attention and validation when behaving in ways that the parent likes can lead to living in a way that is not authentic or true. This over time can create anxiety and depression.
Part 3 of this Blog looks at what we can do to support children with these daily stressors.