Recently when conversing with a parent, I heard him say, “I don’t want my children to have any kind of stress in their lives.” Many of us wish for totally stress-free lives for ourselves and for our loved ones. This is because stress has received a lot of bad press and to some extent justifiably so.
But is all stress bad? Is stress bad at all ages? Is stress bad for everyone?
If we don’t want any stress at all, then we should be willing to give up the idea of progress and growth. Progress and growth in any field cannot come without stress. Would we want our children not to have growth? That is not what we want.
So if our children are going through some stress, instead of wishing they did not have any stress, it is important to see what kind of stress they are having. Academic stress is inevitable in any education system where there is an assessment. Tests, exams, viva, quizzes, time-bound assignments, projects are part of any education system and these definitely put the children under pressure and that kind of pressure is good as it results in them working and improving themselves. If we don’t have a system of assessment how are we going to monitor a person’s progress and if we do not monitor progress how do we ensure growth?
If we want children to have meaningful and deep relationships, there is going to be stress. That is the price they pay for the pleasure relationships bring them. We cannot do away entirely with this stress. Any work that they take up has to be completed within a certain period of time and that brings time pressure on them. That is good because only then the job will get completed. If there are no deadlines, a job may take forever.
A person feels stressed when they feel they do not have enough resources to cope with the demands of the situation. So one way of helping children to cope with stress is to increase their resources. Better planning is a way to deal with time-stress as time is the resource here. Better preparation techniques is the way to cope with the stress of performance on any stage. That is the resource we can empower them with. Inculcating Realistic expectations is another way to handle the stress that comes when waiting for the results of the work done.
Stress is needed for growth and progress of chidren. So instead of wishing there was no stress, it is vital we teach children how to cope with such stress.