Pressure is a part of life; learning to deal with pressure is a part of growing up. Your child is going to have to deal with pressure on a regular basis. Some of this pressure can be handled by simply removing the pressures. However, other types of pressure are going to be ones your child is unable to avoid. What is interesting is some stress will be good, like trying to get a win on a sports team or an A on a test. Other stresses are can be bad and can have a negative impact on your child's health and well-being.
Good Pressure versus Bad Pressure
You might want to remove all the pressure from your child's life. However, this is simply not possible. In fact some pressure is needed for your child to succeed. A good amount of pressure for your child would be the amount that is going to allow them to focus on the problem at hand, but not feel distracted by what is going on around them regarding the topic. For example, a good amount of pressure will challenge your child but not overwhelm them. This can be their coach pushing them to swim faster or control their kick more.
The exact opposite would be a bad pressure situation. You might notice your child is stressed out a lot, easily distracted or even disinterested. Some times bad pressure comes when your child does not manage their time well and puts off their assignment until the night before it's due. Other times it can be because they feel terribly overworked and over-scheduled that they did not have time to study for their test and got a bad grade. Now they feel they must work even more and are under more pressure.
How Much is Too Much Pressure?
Identifying how much pressure your child is under is key. Sometimes your child will tell you if they feel overwhelmed. However, often you as the parent must pay close attention to your child's attentiveness to see if they are under too much pressure. A common way to tell if your child is under too much pressure is to gauge their level of focus. If your child is having trouble focusing then the pressure may be a little too much. At the same time, though, if you find your child is constantly getting frustrated it could also be from too much pressure. Another way to see if your child is under too much pressure is if they do not seem as interested in activities that they used to enjoy. Sometimes the overwhelming pressure a child feels can manifest in physical pain. If your child is complaining of headaches and/or stomach aches and there is no physical reason for these pains your child might be under too much pressure and having increased anxiety.
How Can You Help Your Child Cope?
Now, the essential part after identification of the pressure on your child is helping them cope with the pressure. Typically, you can do this by taking your child away from the situation. You may want to take them outside for a nature hike, the playground, or even going to a place they like to go to help them unwind from the pressure and stress they were just under. If you cannot remove your child from a stressful situation, you and your child must learn how to handle the situation.
- First, identify if the situation is necessary. Does your child need to be at this place or in this environment? If it is a doctor's office or school than the answer is probably yes.
- Second, identify if the stress is warranted. Should your child feel stress in this situation or are they scared or worried about something they don't need to be?
- If they shouldn't feel stress in the situation, ask them why they are scared or worried. Then talk to them about these fears so they can understand there is nothing to worry about.
- If it makes sense that your child feels stress in the situation, try to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Like we said earlier, some stress cannot be avoided.
- Third, help your child identify good pressure from bad pressure. When your child knows the difference they will know how to best avoid the bad pressures. This will ensure they don't become overwhelmed too much, while at the same time giving them the drive to achieve greatness.
Children are under more pressure today than what childrens of any generation before were under when it comes to school and sports. However, for a parent, it can be hard to help your child at times in dealing with the pressure of life at a young age. By knowing about the good pressure and bad pressure, but also how to identify when the child is under too much pressure, it will be easy for you to figure out how to help your child best cope with the pressure.