At the beginning of every school year, every marking period and every New Year we ponder the huge changes we need to make if we want a peaceful/happy home. With teenagers, preschoolers, students with ADHD/LD or just children in general, home life can at times seem chaotic and unhappy. Someone always seems to be miserable, angry, tired or disappointed. How do you prevent the situations that trigger negative emotional reactions and the resulting cascade of stress that creates a “bad” day?

  • Get the morning off to a good start. Leaving the house on time means everyone is less stressed at the beginning of work or school. How do you do that? One approach is to have everyone set out their clothes and items to go to school or work the night before. Take ten minutes each night for everyone to set up their “Blast Off” site. No more missing shoes, coats, school ID’s or sports equipment. Getting to school with time to get situated for the day makes a tremendous difference in the morale of the student. When you or the student is late for work or school, it feels like you never catch up.
  • Hug your children and spouse at least once per day. There is a scientific reason for this! Hugging causes the pituitary gland to secrete oxytocin, the “feel good” hormone. Affectionate touch, snuggling together while reading a book and similar activities reduce blood pressure and have a calming effect on the “hugger” and “huggee.” There is some evidence that oxytocin is related to both mental and physical health, and impacts the ability to cope with stress. Hugging would not require a change in routine. Give it a try!

Blogger Mary Ann Mulcahey, PhD, shares her expertise in assessment and diagnosis of learning disabilities and ADHD, and the social/emotional adjustment to those issues. If you have questions, please contact Mary Ann at mmulcahey@springer-ld.org.

Leave a Comment