Cultivate Theme

I believe I have a normal amount of stress in my life: I get challenged regularly to take on new projects at work, I have stepped up my involvement in some outside-of-work activities and I deal with the mistakes I make and want to learn from.

It's all good stress - the type of stress that once overcome teaches us about ourselves and what we are able to accomplish in life. And my son is at an age where he is starting to feel more stress - now his tests and homework grades really count, and he has to be more engaged in his school projects. He doesn't like it, but it is good for him.

And that is the point that I have to figure out how to convey to him: Learning to overcome stress is a part of growing up.

Think about the first time you experienced homesickness as a child (hopefully, it was when you were a child). I can clearly recall being at sleep-away camp for the first time and missing my Mom a lot. But then we wrote postcards home, and we paddled canoes and ate smores. And I overcame that homesickness - and the stress that came with it - and learned that I was OK to be away from my family.

Overcoming stress has to start at an early age, because by the time my son is a teenager, he will need to learn how to deal with a very large amount of stress. As parents, we have to prepare our children for that time in their lives, and to embrace stress - and the growth it brings.

How do you help your child embrace healthy stress so they will be ready for their teenage years? Tell me in the comments.

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