There are children who live in a constant state of stress and chaos. This negative stimulus wreaks havoc on their nervous systems, reducing their ability to focus, problem solve and alter their ability to resolve conflict.
Where is the stress and chaos coming from?
Is the child taking on stress that parents are feeling?
Is social media a contributor?
Are the adult schedules influencing the issues?
Is the child getting quality attention and the nurture they need to thrive?
I recently spent the day in an elementary school and had the privilege of getting to know two brothers. These brothers are bright, curious and share a deep love and loyalty for each other. Their smiles light up their faces, but underneath is pain and fear. They don’t talk about it but their actions speak to the chaos and fear they live with each day. Due to their parent’s work schedule, each day before school, the brothers are dropped off at daycare by 6:00am. By the time they arrive to school they are exhausted and hungry. They do their very best to keep it together, but all it takes is one negative word or look by a peer that sets them off and they begin to unravel.
Is your child exhibiting any of the following signs? Behavior changes, more impulsive, crying more than usual, easily agitated, increased fatigue, or having trouble sleeping? These are all signs that your child may be under stress.
What can you do to help?
Take time to sit with them, let them share their story and listen…really listen to their heart. Connect with them on their terms and in a place that they feel comfortable. Let them know that you care about them and love them unconditionally no matter what is going on.
Take care of yourself and make sure that you are managing your stress appropriately. Children feed react to the emotional stress that you are experiencing.
Today’s society is about working harder, pushing to get that new job, working two jobs so that you can make ends meet. It is a stressful world we live in. It’s up to you to make the changes that you need for you, your children and your family. Take time as a family to unplug from the day, turn off the television and technology and connect as a family. Play a game, go for a walk and talk…..talk about your day and let your children know that you love them unconditionally. When children feel safe, secure and loved, the result is a calm, secure, and grounded child.
Friends and Family:
If you are not a parent but are aware of others struggling and the children are showing signs of stress. You can assist in many ways. Offer to bring them dinner or sit with the children for an evening so the parents can do house chores or have an evening out. You could offer to take the children to the park, the library, or a simple walk around the neighborhood. Let the family know you are there to support.
Our job is to insure all children have every opportunity to grow and learn to their potential. A tall order some days! Each time you see those sweet faces, know that they want to be seen, loved and supported. When children are experiencing internal struggles, they need you more than ever. Take the time to sit with them, let them share their story… listen to them…really listen to their heart. Connect with them in their space and on their terms. Let them know that you care about them and love them unconditionally, no matter what their behavior is at the time. Your classroom, your office, your school should be a place where they feel safe, secure and loved. Their learning doesn’t depend on what curriculum you are teaching for the day, but their learning depends on the positive relationship that you build with them. Take the time to “Fill their Bucket” with positive support and love, that’s what will make a difference in their lives. Then and only then, will they be ready to learn!
It takes a tribe to raise healthy, happy, thriving children!
Vicki Nienhuis Ed.D., has over 28 years experience as an elementary teacher and administrator and holds a Doctorate degree in Educational Administration. She is Co-Founder of SOUL FITNESS HEALING and provides educational consulting. She is a Certified Practitioner of Patti Conklin Inc. She can be reached by email: email@example.com