Today stress, at some level, has become part of our lives. It affects us in so many ways.
It is known that stress can lead towards an increase in morbidity and mortality and generally unhealthy lives. It may take the shape of hostility, overeating even the face of depression.
There are many factors that can be related to the stress that many Americans are feeling today But how is it affecting our children?
Every parent knows that rearing children can be a handful and stress could present itself almost anywhere. Your child is playing in an athletic competition and you feel a mixture of delight but now it’s mixed in with nail biting moments.
Today with the covid 19 epidemic and all its ramifications it has become much more pronounced. We have changed our lifestyles and in some cases drastically. We worry about things that until recently were non-existent. We worry for our families, friends, neighbors and for our nation, not to mention this world.
We are entering new frontiers that we never thought we would have to be challenged by.
Stress will be handled differently as per the individual’s circumstances but we cannot ignore that many of us are struggling with the same issues.
In the last century our parents and grandparents fought in the great wars of the 20th century. As they were on the frontlines we at home learned to live with less, we learned to ration and accept the world that it was at that time. That meant making sacrifices so our men and women defending this nation can do their job. At the end we prevailed and actually became stronger as a nation and people.
Now we are confronted with a new evil, a new kind of war. Our frontline workers are now a different type of warrior battling this invisible enemy. They are our healthcare workers, delivery professionals, our first responders and everyday people trying to help their neighbors the elderly and youngest of our population.
So getting back to stress and children, we as adults have to deal with these new challenges. It is not easy sometimes and for many feel impossible.
Our children have an ability to pick up on what’s going on. They pick up on how we adjust to the crisis, our anxieties and our behavior. They look for us for direction, to calm their fears. Our anxieties should not flow through their veins but rather on courage and fortitude.
Yes children are vulnerable and are not at fault for what is happening in this world. We as adults must respect our neighbors, respect their needs and help our fellow man so we can persevere together. Our stress should become our strength and therefore our children’s strength.
We are all in this together.
Dr. Casas is a Board Certified Pediatrician practicing in South Florida since 1985. His work experience include but are not limited to:
- Private Practice
- Chief of Pediatrics
- Medical Director
- His medical interests are in allergies, pulmonology and infectious disease.