Kids Under Stress

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Stress is such an over-used term that there is now a huge gap arising from under-rating the reach of this phenomenon. As a general rule, stress is considered to be something that the corporate sector thrives on, something that homemakers revolve in and around, and those in difficult personal situations navigate through. In other words, stress has been attributed as something ‘adults’ and ‘grown-ups’ face. Most of us would have probably experienced most or all of these triggers. But as an aware and conscious adult, wouldn’t we agree that in current times, stress is a phenomenal factor that surpasses age and gender without any bias?

Fact#1: Our children today are highly stressed!

Fact#2: As a rule, parents today are not taught how to help their children manage stress.

Inferred Fact from #1 & #2: The collective stress within the family unit spills out into our extended lives and communities leading to a highly stressed-out society.

Yes, it is agreed that the current generation are a privileged lot. But it would be unfair to get them to feel guilty about it because of what we didn’t have when we were their age. It would also be unreasonable to deny them the gifts of the current age. While it remains imperative, as a society, to instill certain values and attributes in our children, we have also turned into a society of unmet needs seeking to find balance – unfortunately, that balance often is in the form of assuming control.

To drive the point clearer and closer to home, the wide range of what we consider children are in the range of infants and toddlers, young children, adolescents and early teens and then the more mature older teens. At every stage of life we experience a distinct category of physiological stress. Yet, in today’s world, environmental stressors and emotional and psychological triggers add a massive input into this equation.

If rampant hormones were not enough, there is the vicious streak of competitveness starting in our schools demanding the top-most grades through every year of school, to the cut-throat competition of securing the most prestigious of college seats by turning into a human encylopedia. These experiences of chronic stress eventually forms the baseline of the child’s experience and view of the world, which stops being the fun, inspiring, wonderful world and turns into a demanding, ruthless and punishing one.

Children today are very often tired, have puffy eyes with red-rimmed eyelids, sleep poorly, eat poorly, have poor social skills and lack strong inter-personal skills. No, this is not a general rule, but even if, say, they were the most social & interactive children, choices are, they would still be exhausted way before bedtime by the sheer volume of deliverables that are expected of them.

Here are some of the common stressors for children and young adults:

  • Busy schedule
  • Waking up early (going to bed late)
  • Regretting a disagreement with a parent
  • Studying for tests and exams

KidsHealth.org understands these concepts and has some suggestions that would make it easier for parents. Here are some pointers that you may find interesting and may share with young adults an children in a room.

  • Try yoga before a test or exam.
  • While studying – Neck & shoulder rolls, forward bends, twists and even a balancing tree pose!
  • Just before bedtime (a few stretches would gently urge the body muscles to begin relaxing)

As you can see, yoga has been researched as one the more appropriate, non-invasive techniques to build on their mind & body. The mind, body, breath and spirit connection allows children and teens to be better equipped to make consciously, aware choices, as opposed to a generation of individuals who were led by the mob, followed it and then lived to have no story to tell! Do check our calendar for details on our next RCYT programs, where we will learn more about children and yoga and how to help them cope with better strength.

It is important to remember that the stress response is similar in adults and children. If it can be some unbearable to adults, imagine how a young child would experience if the only thing he knows is a parent who is so high-strung that it would be impossible to have a decent conversation.

Note: The above information is purely for educational purposes and not intended to diagnose or replace the advice of a registered physical or medical practitioner.

 

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The principles laid out in Patanjali’s yoga sutras dating back to 500 B.C. are still very relevant today, even in our modern information world. Yoga has evolved a lot from the days of Patanjali; it has taken different forms to meet the varying needs of practitioners all along its journey. Yoga continues to accept all changes, like the ocean accepts the river, absorbs, assimilates and grows. (A distinctive feature of sanaatan dharma of India)

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