Raising a family can be rewarding but also a very stressful time, and mounting pressures from family and work can leave parents susceptible to high-levels of stress.
Children model their parents behaviours, including those related to health and stress management. While some people love to eat their emotions during times of stress others may get irritable, while others may withdraw into their own ruminations. When, however, parents deal with stress in unhealthy ways they risk passing those coping behaviours onto their children. If you feel you and your family have shifted into some unhealthy habits, here are some ideas to move towards a healthier path for all.
· Consider your lifestyle choices, environment & the way you model healthy behaviours for your family. Children are more inclined to develop healthy lifestyle habits if this is modelled & the whole family practise positive stress management techniques together.
o Family fun time
o Getting back to nature
o Breathing techniques
o Meditation and yoga
o Problem solving skills
o Open communication
· Talk about feelings – if you notice that your family are showing signs that they are feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed then ask them how they are feeling. Creating opportunities for regular conversations gives families the time to better understand possible stressors for children and teenagers. This also provides the time to promote open communication and teach healthy problem-solving skills.
· Self care – When families are experiencing stress it is important to make a conscious effort to take of yourself so that you are better able to work through the difficult times.
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