In this cut throat competitive environment, every parent wants and expects his child to excel. But in this race, children often get stressed under pressure. Now a new study suggests that kids who overreact to stressors (any event or task which increases stress) are at risk of gaining weight.
The global concerns about childhood obesity and the discovery of this link, might help doctors and parents control this epidemic. The study also highlights that school work as well as social pressure could be leading to this stress in children.
Researchers from Penn State and Johns Hopkins Universities asked children (aged 5 to 9 years old) to deliver a speech and perform a mathematical sum and the results showed that children got stressed during this procedure. The link between stress and appetite was seen as the children were offered snacks and the ones who participated ate more. (Even though the test happened post-lunch).
Here are a few ways parents must try and relieve the social and educational stress:
1. Enroll your child in public speaking: Public speaking and other personality development classes help children overcome the fear of speaking in public. Often social meetings stress children and personality development classes help them become extroverts and destress.
2. Give them ample ‘play time’: Playing is very important for your child to develop. You child needs at least two hours of playing time. But this play time should be spent by your child playing outside the house and running around not in front of a TV or playing video games.
3. Do not get competitive: Often parents pressurise their children to succeed. Our current education scenario is too stressful with most children getting over 90 per cent but parents must understand that not every child can (or is willing to) take this stress.
4. Never call them a failure: As a parent, you could also be weak in certain subjects. Parents nowadays do not even know many subjects their kids are taught – case in point – Spanish, Mandarin, etc. So don’t call your child a failure if he/she is weak in a few subjects, get help or talk to their teacher to get that subject changed. With a variety of subjects available now this is quite possible.
5. Hobby time: Make your child take up a hobby he/she likes. Let it be their choice, children enjoy extra curricular activities they are passionate about not something other children are enrolling for!
Many parents also stress their children by expecting them to excel and look perfect. Remember childhood can be enjoyed only once and if you stress your kid, he or she will never get a chance to thrive.