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Stress and Kids

(picture originally uploaded to Flickr by Sara. Nel)

USA Today recently published an article on the annual Stress in America survey that is put out by the American Psychological Association. For the first time, they the study included children ages 8 to 17 years old. (HT: Daniel Bigler)

While there were a number of interesting findings highlighted in the article, one thing that stood out was that 63% of the 235 parents who were in the survey stated that their own stress levels had “slight or no influence on their child’s stress levels.” According to the study, though, reality is that children worry more about what their parents worry about like their family not having enough money (30% of the children surveyed stated this as a source of stress).

While I don’t want to infer too much from the suggested correlation between the stress of parents and the stress of their children, it suggests that parents are a huge influence in the emotional health of their children – positive and negative. Judging by the parents’ response that most didn’t think their stress affected their children’s stress levels many parents don’t realize this. It seems that children care about what their parents care about.

As children’s ministers, this shows that we need to be ministering to more than just the kids. As we minister to the whole family, helping parents to find peace and security in Christ, we are helping children do the same.

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