Stress is one of those things that just happens – especially when you’re responsible for the lives of others. Stress is inevitably your body’s natural way of reacting to thoughts or activities in your life that can often make you feel overwhelmed. Your body goes into a “flight or fight” mode which releases stress hormones throughout the body to help you react calmly. While stress is normal and good in some cases, when it becomes too much to bear it can cause a plethora of physical and psychological issues.
Stress Can Lead to Self-Medicating
What many don’t understand is that not dealing with chronic levels of stress can quickly lead to the need to self-medicate. While some might start smoking marijuana at the end of a long day to cope, others will drink several glasses of wine. Although in small doses these substances may seem harmless, prolonged use can lead to your body developing a tolerance and then a dependency which can lead to substance abuse and addiction. If you believe you’ve started self-medicating, the best thing you can do for yourself and your children is to reach out to a program that offers substance abuse recovery for women to get the specialized care you need.
Be aware that even though you feel you are doing your very best raising your child, sometimes your parenting strategies can be damaging to your child’s self-esteem and the parent-child relationship. Your child needs to grow up with a healthy level of self-esteem to be more resilient to the lessons learnt and the knocks taken in life. A good self-esteem enables your child in decision making, having confidence in the judgements she makes, knowing what is right and wrong and having an ability to ‘bounce back’ after a knock. Healthy self-esteem is especially important during your child’s adolescent years when the chances are she will experience peer pressure to experiment with cigarettes, drugs and alcohol.
We like to think that a child’s world is all lightness and fun, but there are dark sides to the childhood experience. Especially in this age of increased expectations, rigorous study, and intense competition for educational opportunities, kids are increasingly dealing with stress in addition to all the traditional sources of bad feelings in children. Stress is no longer just a grownup problem. Kids face many of the same pressure that adults do, and they also have pressures of their own. If you think your child might be suffering from too much stress, here is what you need to know.