Art Miramontes blog

How the Three Bears Handle Stress – Ideas From My Kids

Posted on: December 22, 2010

Once upon a time there were three bears (OK…maybe not bears, but my kids) – Arturo, Alejandro and Andres.  My kids have just completed their last week of school and have been ready for their winter break weeks ago.  I could see the stress taking a toll on them.  So, I did what any parent would do…I asked them, “What is the source of your stress son, but more importantly how do you plan on reducing or eliminating it?  …Because it’s driving dad crazy!!”  I took notes (which I thought would make a good blog topic so here we are) and interviewed my kids because the best source of information and “subject matter material” is from the source themselves – our kids.  They may not have the technical or scientific background to officially give us advice, but they are the best to tell us what is wrong.

 The oldest bear Arturo, 20, was coming home for the holidays from San Jose State University, and just finished his most stressful week of finals in a long time.  As an honors student all his life, he has always felt the pressure to perform, but somehow has always managed to do it.  As I interviewed my son, Arturo – he explained that one key tip that has allowed him to remain sane is – The support he receives from his friends, and his family.   Arturo turns to the people around him to help him get through those stressful times – whether it is finals or the upcoming holidays.  The best medicine, in his case is to have a good friend(s) to laugh with, get goofy with, be spontaneous with, or just share his time in a non-productive teenager kind of way.

My second bear is Alejandro.  He handles stress much differently than my older bear.   He loves music and dives right into his passion when things are not going his way.  Alejandro, 15, stated, “When I want to forget about things because they are stressing me out…I do something to get it off my mind.  I go and play my guitar and lose it!”  In his case it is music, but for others it could be exercise, reading a book, or making cookies.  The idea is to do something that makes you feel good, puts you in a relaxed state of mind, and allows you to forget why you were stressing out.  (At 15, there really isn’t much!) 

Andres, the third and youngest little bear loves to use his imagination for relieving stress.   He loves to play pretend, and has actually put a short film together with his older brothers, called “Crankie Carols (Scrooge)”, and pretends to be one of the characters of the story (Soon to come out on YouTube!).   Andres keeps his imagination and creativity firing on all cylinders all day, every day.   At 9 years old, he doesn’t really experience much stress, but his creativity and imagination doesn’t allow him to either.   We help Andres and continuously encourage him to remain positive and say positive things.  This helps when my kids start stressing each other out!

At the end of the day, we the parents, provide the environment to allow them to recognize their stress and allow them to find creative ways to handle it – with some support.  So, three tips from the Miramontes kids:

  1.  From Arturo – Rely on friends and family to get you through those stressful times by enjoying their company and doing something entertaining with them.  Sometimes it’s not about the activity but the company you have that helps you out.
  2. From Alejandro – Do activities like music, reading, cooking (with parental supervision) or something that makes you feel relaxed, and puts you in a positive state of mind.
  3. From Andres – Encourage positive conversations and dialogue, and be creative with your time.

What tips do your children have for reducing stress?

2 Responses to "How the Three Bears Handle Stress – Ideas From My Kids"

Love your blog! Thank you for your advice. I totally agree with you, kids are the best source of advice on how to help them overcome anxiety and stress.

Great blog! I absolutely agree with you, Art, kids are the best source to know how to help them cope with anxiety and stress.

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