How Stressed Are You?

Brad M. Griffin | Jun 23, 2011

Reflecting on some of the most popular posts on our site for the first half of this year, it was interesting to me that this article by Kara on Help for Stressed Out Families has been so popular.

Its based on research that suggests the stress parents carry is transferred into their kids. And that parents are largely oblivious to the stress their kids feel.

Summer brings new rhythms, but not always less stress. My kids just (finally!) wrapped up school this week, and while were excited for the break, we also know that some of the stress of school will be transferred to other things (navigating travel, camps and other situations with new kids, etc.). A good friend of mine was at work past midnight last night fighting to meet a deadline, and I was reminded again that for many parents, work stress continues full-force throughout the summer.

If youre a youth worker, you know that summer can actually be one of the most stressful seasons of the year. One youth pastor I was on the phone with yesterday is flying to Haiti today leading a team of students and adults. Not exactly a non-stress situation (though potentially wonderful and transformative). If you are navigating your summer ministry schedule while also being a spouse and/or parent, you might already be longing for school to start up again!

So maybe its a good time to review this article, and consider the action points below:

  1. Which finding of the Stress in America study is most surprising to you?
  2. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highly stressed), how stressed are you?
  3. Using the same scale, how stressed are your kids? Reflecting upon the data indicating that parents are often unaware of their kids stress, would you like to revise your answer?
  4. Which of the suggestions made in this article would be most helpful in your family?
  5. What can you do to reduce your own stress this month? How could you create more space for family downtime?
Brad M. Griffin

Brad M. Griffin is the Senior Director of Content for the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, writer, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of over a dozen books, including 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager, Faith in an Anxious World, Growing Young, several Sticky Faith books, Every Parent’s Guide to Navigating Our Digital World, and Can I Ask That? Brad and his family live in Southern California, where he serves as Pastor of Youth and Family Ministries at Mountainside Communion.


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