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Stress Solutions

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-Hi, everybody. Today on Parents TV, we're giving you a chance to Ask Arden. Parents TV contributor, Arden Greenspan-Goldberg is back in the Parents TV studio taking questions from our moms across America about how stress affects their kids and it's always great to have you in the studio. -Same here. -You're like a breath of fresh air. -Oh, thank you so much. You as well. -It's good to see you, thank you. Well, most parents admit that their stressed about family, about work, about finances, but not as many realize that it has an effect on their kids. Why is that? -I think they're wrapped up in their own little world and they don't realize that their child maybe 2 feet away absorbing it and, you know, children are like a little piece of litmus paper. You know, they feel everything that we feel so- -And it really affects them. -Absolutely. -All right. -Absolutely. Big time. -Well, our first mom across America has a question about how her stress affects her kids. So let's take a look. -Okay. -Hi, my name is Joana from Frankenmuth, Michigan and I'm wondering if my children can tell if I'm stressed? -Yeah, I think the child could know especially if the parents had just had an argument and the child is present. And actually, I've experienced that with patients of mine. I've had little children sometimes walk up to their parents that argue too often and say, "Are you getting a divorce?" So, children know. -And that's so sad. It really affects them. So keep it- -It does. -you know, go to another room to discuss things with your husband- -Yes. -or just make sure the kids aren't around. -Or make sure that you show them that you're resolving the argument with a difference in front of them. You know, with that there's some resolution with kisses and hugs that they could see. There can be differences- -Good point. -but that we work on that, you know, in front of the children. -Okay, now our next mom, Melinda from Nashville, Tennessee has a question about managing her stress. Let's look. -How can I work through my stress without my children feeling that stress? -Okay. I think she needs to be aware that it's very important to take care of ourselves first, to make mommy time, to self soothe, to good- to do some good things for ourselves and calm ourselves and take a time out. And our children don't necessarily have to see that, but maybe it's not a bad thing sometimes for a mom to say, "I'm feeling stressed out right now. Give me a moment to collect myself." -You'll be a much better mom for it. -Absolutely, sure. -So you need to take a time-out. -Absolutely. -Forget the time-outs for the kids. It's one for you. -Definitely. And you're role modeling that you can get a little out of control sometimes and that they'll imitate that as well, you know, they learn from us. You know, we're not perfect, right? -Absolutely not. -Far from it. -And I think far from it. And I think what parents don't realize is that children can get stressed out too. -Oh absolutely. -And we have a question from Nikki from Omaha, Nebraska. -Okay. -She says, big gatherings are stressful for her daughter and here she is. Let's watch. -When we get around the family gatherings, she just hides and doesn't really wanna socialize, so I was [unk] with the best way to handle that would be? -I'd say, leave her alone. Okay, let her hid a little bit, but in advance let her know that she- you don't expect her to walk up to family and friends and kiss and hug them if she doesn't feel like it. The problem with this is that children start feeling if they're forced to be pleasing with their parents. They feel a sense of obligation to do it. And then it's not authentic or genuine and you have to have faith in your child that eventually they'll come around. But you have to not force it. You just kinda show them how you are with them-- with the family. That you hug and kiss them and they'll eventually warm up as well. -So just give them a little time and space- -Yeah. -and they'll come around. -Absolutely. -And also when kids get older, they can be more stressed. There are so many different things happening in their lives. -Absolutely. -Let's take a look. -Oh, sure. -The next question is about that. -Hi, I'm Nancy Ingle from Frankenmuth, Michigan. And I was wondering if too many afterschool activities can cause stress for my children? -That's such a good question. There's been books written on the stressed-out child, the hurried child, the overscheduled child. My opinion is that I think it's a good thing to keep kids busy. Keep them out of trouble. And they'll let you know if it's too much. They'll tell you, you know. I'm- this is too much for me. I don't wanna do this activity. Most children are very verbal and they'll let you know what's what, but I think it keeps them out of harm's way. That's how I was with both my kids and neither one of them ever complained and their good kids. -And my daughter needs the extra activities. She's always on the go, always looking for something to do- she'd be bored. So- -I think so too. Right, you'd rather than be out and doing some good constructive things for themselves' activities or giving back to community than sitting by the boob tube too much. -Right. So, what should we be looking for? There any stress signals that we can- we can see- -When our kid- -in our children to have noticed that there's a problem? -Yeah. Absolutely. If our kids are more moody and solemn and withdrawn, and if they're generally more of like an active kind of jovial child, that's one thing. Another is if you all of a sudden find your child doing something out of character like biting their nails, pulling their hair, more- you know, testy, impatient, crying and we have to do something, obviously and ask them, you know, what's going on with you? Sometimes, kids are able to say. If their parents say, I'm stressing- I'm stressing, kids can do that too. My daughter will say that sometimes. "I'm stressing." I'm like, "What is it that you're stressing about, honey?" You know, and we kind of sit down and try to figure out. -Let's talk about it. -And then- yeah, and then I, you know, try to calm and soothe and kind of bring her down a few levels. You know, like don't get hysterical. This is workable. You know, let's see if we can- -Let's see if we can figure this out. -We'll figure this out together. So be kind and approachable, you know, the benevolent authority figure. -Arden, thank you so much. -You're welcome. -I feel less stressed right now just having you in the studio. It's great to see you. -Thank you. -All right and if you have a question for Arden, you can email her and inquire at askarden.com. Thanks so much for watching Parents TV. We'll see you next time.