How To Have Less Stressed Kids


As a parent we want our kids to have best and do best, so we sign them up for classes such as sport, art, piano, violin, Language learning, lego and robotics and so many more.  3 months break in summer will give kids some break but no, we sign them up with summer camps during summer break. When do kids get a chance be a kid and play? It seems because of extra activities and fear for safety, kids are no longer free range kids as 30 years ago. Kids are showing stress signs but acting up, health issues and other disciplinary problems which may indirectly related to being so busy and high exceptions from parents, to school. One of the kids who  is in Private school 2nd grade has 2 hours daily homework, in 2nd grade, can you believe it? May you can but it baffles me.

There are many kids who are either bored and too much stimulated by activities that surrounds them. Parents are not happy either, many parents seems to think they are busy driving kids from one activity to another. If no one is happy, why do we parent do this to ourselves? Stress  survey done by Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s health (Palo Alto) found that over 50% of 9 to 17 years old were stressed out on average to high level of stress. That can’t be good.

Tips for Less Stressed Kids and Parents:

We can not eliminate 100% stress and worries from our own life, let alone our children’s, however, we can surely try to minimize it by doing a few things. I think it may help parents and kids both relax a lot. Last semester, we followed hectic schedule our 2nd grader, and we have slowed down this month so we can get a bit breather. Here are a few things that we did that might work with other children as well.( Note I write child as he or him but this case goes for both girls and boys.)

1. Slow Down:

You might think every waking moment your child should be doing something magnificent or learning. And it might be hard to see your child laying on sofa doing nothing, telling you he is bored. Creativity strikes right after boredom happens in many cases. Unwind after school activity for a day. Let them think and soak up all they did and did not do.

If you do extra classes such as music, art, swimming and other cool things, make sure your child has only 2-3 activities per week so give him time to relax his body and mind.

2. Create Mini Goals and Solutions:

If your child has tons of home works or things to do, it can be overwhelming. Sure it is overwhelming for adults too. Breaking down things to do list or a problem in to mini section and tackling it helps see the result much faster and keeps us motivated, same thing with kids. In beginning you may need to help your child do this, until he learns how to do that on his own.

3. Create a Space:

Majority of our stress comes from not finding stuff when you need it, especially for kids. If your kids or you are always looking for book, home work or a project you worked on last minute, it will increase blood pressure for all of you. Create a space for your child’s things, school works, hobbies so he can put everything in its place and find it when necessary.

If you teach kids to clean up since they are young, it helps them when they’re older. However, there is never too late to start, even for older child or even teen. Teaching them keeping their stuff organize and helping them by getting them bookcases, boxes to store stuff.

4. Make Time For Sleep:

It has been said that minimum of 8 hours of sleep is needed to function better, but little kids to teens sometimes need more than 8 hours sleep. Do you remember when your infant was born, he was sleeping or cat napping 18 hours a day? Of course, kids do not need less sleep as they grow older, they may need 8-10 hours sleep to feel refresh and function properly. So, make sure you have routine for them and they get enough sleep to feel rested.

I have a younger kids so it is easier for me to stick to sleep routine and Zenguy has perfected sleep routine with kids so well, they know it and do it well. I am not sure yet how to enforce on teens but they can be reasoned with as well.

5. Eat Together:

With family so busy with activities and things to do, we hardly tend to eat together. I fall in this category occasionally so I know. Making time to eat together as a family does wonder to kids self esteem and share what they liked on that day and what they did not. Young kids tend be chatty so we listen a lot or should I say we try to. 🙂

Seeing family life together and what everyone has done that day, makes everyone feel in “know” and be part of something special. At least, I know I felt that when I was a kid.

6. Talk and Listen:

Being a parent can be demanding and we have things to take care of, bills to pay, dishes to clean, and so on, but taking time to talk to your child if something is wrong will help by asking direct and open questions and then listening to them. Always ask questions that can not be answered in “yes” or “no”. If you ask how was your day, you may get answer like “fine”. You should ask “What happened during X event?”

7. Let Child be a Child

Sometimes we want so much from our children and we think of them as little people. They are not, they are still kids and will make mistakes. When I teach some concept to R, and I expect him to get it, and when he does not I sometimes get frustrated. I usually do not get upset with other child making same mistake. So I came to realize that wearing mom hat makes me expect a lot from my own kids, so I tried to wear teacher hat and try to be rational when I know a parent in me want a super smart child, instead of just human child.


We ll need help to lessen stress in our children’s life and our’s too. I am a work in progress and as I mentioned despite using pen name of Zengirl, I get un-Zen sometime, so I wrote this article for me to read when I need little motivation booster.

How do you keep your self or your child less stressed and more happy?

Image source:Stree Free Kids Curriculum

How To Fight Driving Fatigue

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As an adult many of us are driving daily to work, groceries, errands and social and official gathering. Things gets more hectic, if you have kids as a parents we tend to drive kids to one class or sporting event to another. At the time as mom of 2 kids, I feel like a overworked driver sometimes. It is easy to feel tired and get driving fatigue, if there is a such thing as that!

While talking to other parents, I realized that I am not the only one, other parents also feel similar ways along with a few single people who seems to be doing lot of driving for various reasons. So, how do you fight the driving fatigue? How do you keep yourself energized? I found a few tips that helps me when I am feeling driving or parenting chauffeur fatigue, I am sure it may help you as well.

1. Get Enough Sleep

Most of my problem of fatigue that I do not get enough sleep. As I am busy all day with house, kids and other things, I sometimes stay awake after kids go to sleep to read a book, do bills or even watch a movie. Nothing wrong taking sometimes for myself but problem is I get little less sleep so next day I am usually bit tired as soon as the day starts. Not a good way to start a morning. So getting enough sleep for what your body need is first step to stay awake and energetic.

2. Eat Well Balanced Diet and Snacks

I notice that when my toddler is cranky and acting out, usually is that either he is sleepy or hungry. After having a snacks, he is best kid again. I came to realize that might be true for adults too. At least it is for me, when I am rushing to get house chores done, I am eating on run. That means not eating well balanced food or not eating well. Now I stock my car with salted and roasted nuts, mixed fruits and nuts, granola bars, water so just in case when we are running late, me and kids have some snacks to eat to keep us going. I even keep small plastic bowls so I can put some snacks for kids to eat during go. It has been so helpful.

3. Listen to upbeat Music

Sometimes when we are stuck in traffic or have 30 minutes or longer drive to a class, I put some fun songs or music for us to listen. Sometimes we get also upbeat and start singing with radio or music CD. We might look crazy to next car driver but it keeps us happy during traffic jam.

4. Get Some Air

Sometimes when we drive air gets stuffy, so I open some windows to get fresh air in. It changes the mood quickly. When it is hot outside, we blast off Air condition in car for sometime. Cool air just lower our body temperature and cools us down too.

5. Take some Break

With little kids, most of our drives are around 30 minutes or so. When occasionally we have to drive longer, we take break after 40 minutes for restrooms or stretch a leg. Most of the time, it is rest room break with young kids for me, including one who is being potty trained so it is very much needed. Sure, it takes us longer to reach a destination but we are happier when we get there.

How do you fight fatigue when you are driving a lot?