Dr. Lauren Stutman, Psy.D, on How to Ease our Kids’ Anxieties: Pt. 2
And then there’s a TED talk every parent should watch called How to Make Stress Your Friend. In it, psychologist Kelly McGonigal talks about a study that found that people who believe stress is harmful (and most of us do, because that’s what science has told us) have a higher incidence of morbidity when they encounter a major life stressor. We should think about how to use this placebo effect — if we know that stress can make us stronger, this knowledge will impact how we respond to the stressor.
The stories we tell ourselves play a huge role in our physical bodies, the energy we bring into a room, and really everything we do. So pay attention to the stories you’re telling yourself — about yourself, about this experience, about your children, and about the importance of their education. Yes, their education is important, but it’s not as important as their mental health and their relationship with you. If you notice you’re telling yourself a negative story, I have a little saying: “Don’t be upset that you thought it, be proud that you caught it.” This way you won’t go down a spiral of other critical self-talk. We need to be aware of our patterns in order to change them, and noticing your inner critic is the first step to overcoming it and transmuting it into the loving voice we all deserve to hear during this unprecedented time.
Want to learn more from Dr. Stutman? Check out CARE-LA’s blog. And please let us know how you and your child are doing — we'd love to hear from you!