Q&A: How to Manage the Impacts of Stress and Failure – ETB #134

This week on the podcast I’m doing something a little different. I’m answering some reader questions! Two types of questions that I receive regularly from parents center on stress and failure. So in this episode, I’m going to address how to manage the impacts of stress and failure for your kids.

Q&A: How to Manage the Impacts of Stress and Failure - ETB #134

There seems to be so much upheaval in the world today, both close to home and far away. I live in Florida and I know so many people who lost everything in Hurricane Ian. The impacts of stress and failure are very real concerns!

Managing Stress

Your kids are seeing these things happen in the world. You’re stressed. So, the first question I get regularly is how do I manage the stress of the rising prices, economic changes, uncertainty, and fear? I want to be gentle and kind in my parenting, but the rising stress is getting to me!

First, realize that you’re not alone. New reports are saying that 80% of families are dealing with some kind of stress, anxiety, or mental health situation in their homes.

Next, pray for yourself. It is critical to keep your thoughts in check and have a biblical perspective. Ask God to help you focus on what is good and right even in the midst of a terrible situation. Ask Him what He wants you to see and how to process your circumstances.

Third, keep yourself in the Word. You might only be able to handle one verse right now. Read that verse and hang onto what God is telling you in it. Consider reading a chapter from Proverbs each day. There are 31 chapters so you can read the whole book of the course of a month. Meditate on God’s Word and allow it to permeate your mind and replace the anxiety, negativity, and discouragement!

Finally, talk to your kids frequently. Don’t talk to them about the news highlights of the day; be careful what news you allow them to consume. Talk to them about how they are doing and how they are feeling. Don’t marginalize or minimize the feelings of your kids. Be there to listen to them! Help them move from an inward focus to outward by showing them how to serve others.

When to Let Kids Fail

The other type of question I regularly receive is about failure. When is it ok to let kids fail? What if there are very serious long-term consequences?

My suggestion is allow your kids to fail when they’re working on something like a LEGO project or a school assignment. They learn how to plan ahead and measure twice, cut once. These are needed life skills. They learn from these kinds of mistakes. You can certainly give suggestions, but I find it best to give them more freedom and room to fail in these kids of circumstances.

What do you do when the consequences are greater? I believe that stepping in when your child’s emotional well-being is at stake is appropriate. Things like bullying, being marginalized, and wrongful punishment are very different circumstances.

I ask these questions to help make a decision:

  • Is there a long-term ramification?
  • Is the life lesson that they will learn going to physically do harm to them?
  • Is the life lesson they will learn going to propel them forward?
  • Will this failure make them wiser or more aware or better in some way?

We have to protect our kids, but these question will help you decide if the situation is one where you should step in or allow them to fail.

I sincerely hope that you found the answers to these listener questions about the impacts of stress and failure helpful. If you have a question you’d like me to answer, email it to me through our contact form.

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Q&A: How to Manage the Impacts of Stress and Failure - ETB #134