Good stress vs. bad stress

Educational Psychologist Jane Healy, PhD, shares advice for parents on how to help your child reduce bad stress and use good stress as a tool for motivation and empowerment
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Good stress vs. bad stress

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Believe it or not, kids can carry a lot of stress. I mean we all think that we’re stressed as adults and 50% of the adults in this country do say that they think they’re overstressed. Well, when we’re raising children and we’re ourselves under a great level of stress, it makes it very tough for the child. Plus, there are so many things in our environment today that add stress, particularly for a child who has a later developing nervous system or maybe is a little more sensitive. A lot of loud noise, a lot of flashy objects all the time – constant sensory stimulation, not to mention the fact that many kids don’t have a very good diet, that they don’t get enough sleep and that they’re assaulted on all sides by electronic devices that are really quite hard on their brains, whether we realize it or not. So I would suggest that we try to focus on what the experts call good stress, which is actually another name for motivation in which the child is powerfully interested in doing something that is challenging, but that they feel they have opportunity to do. And they approach all these tasks, including school learning, with a well-rested, well-nourished and reasonably relaxed body.

Educational Psychologist Jane Healy, PhD, shares advice for parents on how to help your child reduce bad stress and use good stress as a tool for motivation and empowerment

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Jane M. Healy, PhD

Educational Psychologist

Jane Healy is a teacher and educational psychologist who has worked with all ages from pre-school to graduate school.  Her major research interest has been in finding practical applications of current brain research for teachers and parents.  A graduate of Smith College, she holds a MA from John Carroll University, a PhD from Case Western Reserve University, and post-doctoral work in developmental neuropsychology.  She has served on the faculty of Cleveland State University. Her many years of experience include: parent, classroom teacher, reading/learning specialist, elementary administrator, and clinician.  She is recognized internationally as an author, lecturer, and consultant. She has received international media coverage, including Nightline, Good Morning America, the Today Show, CNN and NPR, for her ideas about the impact of technology, media and culture on children's brain development and learning.

Although Jane has received many honors, including being twice named the "Educator of the Year" by Delta Kappa Gamma, she claims that she and her husband have learned most of what they know from the process of raising three sons (and now their six grandchildren).

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