Stress is Affecting our Kids

Kara Powell | Dec 9, 2010

Whether you’re a parent or not, the recent 2010 Stress in American report by the American Psychological Association is something we need to pay attention to. One of their major findings was that our adult stress is affecting kids, especially when it comes to the effects of parental stress on families.

Here’s an excerpt from the report summary:

“Overall, these findings suggest that parents are underestimating their childs awareness of their stress and, therefore, the impact it could be having on their childs emotional well-being.

  • One-third of children age 8 17 believe their parent has been always or often worried or stressed out about things during the past month.
  • Four in 10 children say they feel sad when their parent is stressed or worried.
  • One-third of children (34 percent) say they know their parent is worried or stressed out when they yell. Other signs of parental stress recognized by children are arguing with other people in the house, complaining or telling children about their problems and being too busy or not having enough time to spend with them.
  • One in five children worry a lot or a great deal about things in their lives but very few parents (8 percent) report that their child is experiencing a great deal of stress (8, 9 or 10 on a scale of 1 to 10).
  • Nearly a third of children indicated in the past month that they experienced physical health symptoms that are often associated with stress: 38 percent reported trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night. Thirty-three percent experienced headaches and 31 percent reported having an upset stomach in the past month.”

Whether you’re a youth leader or a parent, odds are good that the kids in your life can tell when you’re stressed, and that your stress affects them. Stress doesn’t just hurt us; it hurts the kids we care about.

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


More from this author

More From Us

Hello, WELCOME TO FYI
Join the community

Sign up for our email today and choose from one of our popular free downloads sent straight to your inbox. Plus, you’ll be the first to know about our sales, offers, and new releases.

Join the community

Sign up for our email today and choose from one of our popular free downloads. Plus, you’ll be the first to know about our sales, offers, and new releases.