Last week I shared nine strategies to de-stress your kids. Today I close it up with number 10. I’ve decided to continue the talk on anxiety and stress this week. Here’s #10:
Devise a less stressful school schedule (I know, hard for us to hear):
Despite the pressure to go all at his competitive Palo Alto, California, high school, Zev Karlin-Neumann, 18, opted for only one Advance Placement class his junior year. He quickly dropped another class as a senior when he realized it added too much work to an already heavy load. parents are crucial in reviewing a child’s workkload, and teaming up with a school counselor can help create a schedule that won’t overwork a student yet keep him on track for college – a strategy that worked for Zev, now a freshman at Stanford. “I know what my limits were,” he said. In the end, that may be the greatest stress-buster of all.
The above information was taken directly from Better Homes and Gardens magazine, Feb. 2008 issue, written by Melody Warnick.
Although most of us, parents of special needs children, will not be able to identify with the example in today’s blog of the neurotypical senior, the last line said it all to me. KNOW WHAT YOUR CHILD’S LIMITS ARE. And learn to listen to them or read their signs of overstimulation and frustration. If you are struggling with toddlers and preschoolers, trust me, it does get easier. You do get into a rhythm. You will learn their language and they yours.
Personally, I have found that my special needs kids need more time to unwind than their friends. Even on weekends, we plan our activities carefully. I have to watch the time they invest in their computers and electronic games. While I believe it’s great to develop skills among their peers, that can zap their energies as well and not provide the stimulation and nutrients the outdoors offers (more on that in the next blog).