Thursday, March 3, 2011

Stress

Even as a 9-year-old, stress can get the best of us.  This is why I was not shocked when my daughter had a meltdown this morning in the grocery store.  Embarrassed?  Oh yeah, but not surprised. 
 
You can always tell when the pressure is building.  Maya is wound very tight, and when she is stressed she is short with people.  She puts a lot of pressure on herself to be perfect and has mini-panic attacks.
 
So with all this stuff hanging over her head:  oral country report with a food sample due, field trip money due, chores and homework to be done, plus basketball….if she can’t do it all now, how will she be prepared for life???
 
These are not my thoughts, they are hers.  For whatever reason, she is worried about how she will afford an apartment on her own and be able to budget, and with good reason.  Look at the mess the U.S. is in economy-wise. 
 
All I can tell her is to be prepared as much as you can.  Savings are great.  Budgets help you reach your goals.  Be prepared and all that.  I suppose it does not help when your mother procrastinates, but she’s a trouper.  That is her weakness:  the things she can’t control. 
 
So when her brother attempted to help her bag groceries this morning, well, that’s the stick that broke the camel’s back.  She threw a fit like a 2-year-old, “CRIS!  DON’T TOUCH THEM – I’M BAGGING!”
 
Her brother had enough sense to roll his eyes and say, “Maya, I’m only trying to help.” 
 
She calmed down enough to go out to the car, but I let her know that her behavior was not acceptable.  I understand she needed an outlet for her stress, but that was not it. 
 
Being the awesome parents we are, my husband and I have a plan of action.  We know what she needs: a stress-free day where there is nothing to do but what MAYA wants to do.  And that’s what she’ll get, after we lay out expectations and healthy ways to de-stress.