Are You Stressing Your Kids Out?
Do you ever worry that you're pushing your kids too hard? Dr. Kristen Race, author of "Mindful Parenting," stopped by "Daily Shot" to tell us how an overstuffed schedule can affect a child's life.
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Children today have 50 percent less free time than they did a generation ago, and they spend an average of 53 hours a week interacting with some sort of screen media. Plus, they're sleeping less. "Life is crazy for families today," the psychologist says. "What I'm trying to do is help parents understand the impact of this craziness on our brains and on our children's brains, and how we can create balance in some really simple ways."
So how can you tell if your child is overstressed? Race suggests looking for attention problems that seem similar to a sudden onset of ADHD. "When kids are stressed, it's difficult for them to use the part of their brain that helps them pay attention and solve problems," she explains. If your child is impulsive or more distracted than usual, "that's a red flag that something's going on."
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Race suggests writing down each of your child's activities in a calendar. If the activity is stimulating (like school, homework, video games), write it down in red. If the activity is calming (like family dinner or a playdate with a friend), write it in blue. "If you look at this calendar and see nothing but red," she says, "something needs to change."
How many activities should kids younger than 10 participate in per week? Check out this episode of "Daily Shot" to find out.