Today's parents are pretty stressed out. If you doubt it check out this article from Parenting Magazine about how many are taking anti-depressants/anti-anxiety meds. I personally just got off of one and am learning to deal with the ups and downs in other ways which is admittedly not always easy (I'm glad God doesn't get tired of me praying, cuz I do it A LOT!)
Beyond that, it came out recently that as many as 11 percent of school-age kids are diagnosed with ADHD (that's 1 in every 10!), not to mention autism spectrum disorders, behavior in response to divorce or having to move because of the economy. And the pressure for kids to perform on tests and be like everyone else. I've recently joined the Facebook page of A Moms View of ADHD. It is one of the best resources I've found. There is post after post after post from all over the country from parents with children who have ADHD and their struggles.
The stories are so similar: trouble with the school, kids getting kicked out, meds stopped working, other parents judging, dealing with side effects and trying to keep the kid's spirit and self esteem in tact because, let me tell you, these kids don't want the problems they have either. Man, this is rough on the whole family. I've wondered if parents of children with ADHD have higher incidents of alcoholism or anxiety meds. Still not sure about that, but here's an article on how it can affect parents.
And here's a quote from the article:
"If you think about what it's like to parent a child with ADHD, it
requires a kind of constant vigilance, a high level of energy," Odgers
told LiveScience. "This is important, because we know that stress and
the burden of caregiving in general are associated with a whole host of
problems, mental health and physical problems."
There's so much to worry about and so much to do: sports practice and games, eating healthy (just look at the child obesity rates!), medication to manage, behavior problems at school to work on, parent-teacher visits, homework (lots of it!), exercise, illnesses and health issues, doctor visits, school activities. My goodness, and that's just me with one kid! Parents with 2, 3, 4 or more have my utmost admiration.
I don't know what the answer is, just I hope we can all support each other and try and understand what we're all going through. I know people have always had kids, of course, but our world today is very fast with all sorts of expectations on parents and children alike. There are so many options and choices and requirements and goals and requests and pressures. The world is a very different place than it was 50 or 100 years ago. In some ways better, yes, but in some ways not better.
It's my hope we can all slow down a bit, savor the moment, live in the joy of life, detach and de-stress, unplug and really see the things that are beautiful in life. I'm going to try. Who's with me?
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