Insanity, as the saying goes, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
We say we want more rest and relaxation, yet each day we get up and race around, trying to keep up with life’s demands. Everyone is too busy; no one feels like they have the time for what matters most. We suffer. Our kids suffer.
Our teens struggle with ever more anxiety, angst and anger. Gone are the carefree days of childhood. They’ve been replaced with an adult world of burdens that are downloaded onto our kids at younger and younger ages.
Working parents and school-age kids experience unrealistic expectations for immediate results, cravings for instant gratification, and conflicting messages about whether to “slow down and pay attention” or “hurry up and get things done.”
Chronic stress levels have become toxic, yet we breathe that air — we maintain our daily habits of stressful living — without a second thought. We react mindlessly to information overload with emotional overwhelm. We snap, we fight, we avoid.
Enough is enough. It’s time to restore sanity to humanity — one child at a time.
We can make conscious choices about our time that allow us to recharge our minds and bodies. We can choose to reconnect with our kids with love and laughter. We can provide clear, realistic expectations and thoughtful, effective consequences.
We’ve all had our peak parenting moments, so we can do it. It’s just a matter of reminding ourselves how and developing mindful habits — making a few different choices each day that produce healthier, happier results.
Let’s show our kids how to get off the hamster wheel of stress and anxiety so they don’t wind up breaking down or blowing up, or worse. With practice, we can give our children the gift of present-moment awareness and acceptance. We can give them the gift of calm and peaceful responding. We can give them acts of loving kindness. There really is a sane way to be in this crazy busy world.
To learn more about how you can relieve your child’s stress and anxiety, attend the “Straight Talk” presentation sponsored by the Jana Marie Foundation, Communities That Care and State College Area School District on Tuesday.