Monthly Article Archives: October 2009

The Play of Children: Lessening Stress and Increasing Self-ControlRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

In my discussions with parents and teachers I increasingly hear an observation that should not come as a revelation to anyone who interacts on a regular basis with children, namely, that today’s kids seem more stressed than those in previous generations. This is not to minimize the reality that children in the past were anxious, but rather that in today’s world there appears to be a greater prevalence of kids who are stressed out. Perhaps of even greater concern is that this phenomenon is becoming evident in younger and younger children. In my travels it is not unusual for parents and educators to express concern about the noticeable worries that burden kindergarten age kids. When I consult with schools one of my favorite activities in addition to presenting during the day with teachers and in the evening with parents is to spend time observing classrooms and chatting with students. I have been very impressed by the openness of students of all ages to share their feelings and thoughts with me. I frequently ask students about their experiences at school and what advice they would like me to offer their teachers and parents. While I am not surprised by recommendations to

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