86/365 Talking about stress to Kids

Stress is a word I started hearing more when I got into my thirties and from then on, it is a word that I have often used and heard in both my personal and professional life. I also don’t remember my parents having a chat with me about it. Did we stress less back then? But today things are different and these are conversations we should have.

As some of you might know I have been having this project with my son… a 365 days writing project and we have been doing it for over 70 days now. Two days back his topic was ‘I am Tired’. It was not about ‘tired from writing’ but getting adjusted to high school and also since he is part of the play their rehearsal goes on till 6:30… and then homework…

Yesterday I started thinking how I can reduce the stress he might be having. Stress is also a part of our nature I guess. In his case, even the writing project he takes it very seriously now… He takes time and sits late and finishes it. This was one thing I could do something about immediately as I had initiated that.

I decided that his project should be a weekly one rather than a daily one and may be restart daily once he gets a bit relaxed. So I had the conversation with him when I went to pick him from school yesterday.

Making it weekly also made more sense to me because writing daily is a habit and writing weekly, taking more time to reread and rewrite will make his writing more focused and help him in long form writing which can add more value as he grows.

When I spoke to him he said “I am ok.. I can continue..” This is the same kid who did not want to write when the project started two months back and he was having his summer holidays. I guess we all have a problem when we have to drop things midway. Not wanting to drop something midway is a good habit.

Now I am in a dilemma… should I just make him write daily so he does not feel he left something midway? Like he took up a project and decided to not proceed? Will this add a precedence and impact his general attitude towards pursuing things?

So we had to embark on a conversation about value… the fundamental question of why are we writing.. why are we doing this. I told him that he can write today and say he is moving to weekly blog and the reason for it and reset the project to a weekly one.

Now he can think about a topic and take time and write and rewrite something every weekend. May be also do retrospectives. May be a great way to do weekly reflections and move into the agile thinking… Agile Teens….

As I was dropping him to school today, I asked “What do you mean by stress” and he had a proper answer about being overwhelmed and having too much to do and so on. When asked what do we do to reduce it, he said in his health class they have told him that we should do things that relax us and it can be singing, music, watching some TV and so on…

I started thinking… May be writing should grow in him as a relaxing agent and not as a stressing agent. That was relief because we often misplace the concept of value as we drive towards completing and achieving something. Need to stop and ask Why many times in a journey.

Conversations are the best antidotes to stress… how else can we understand each other and help each other? I told him that our aim is to live a life and not live a calendar… the conversation and learning and unlearning continues.

You can click and read his blog here

Note: Now you can listen to the audio version of my blogs on the Penpositive Outclass Podcast on Google, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Check it out and new episodes uploaded every day 4 AM Pacific Standard Time

Categories: Opinions, Writing Project

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