I have been given permission by Mental Health America (formally known as, National Mental Health Association) to post the entire Booklet. Thank you Antionette. She was the lovely young lady who assisted me today in that permission.
I hope you find the an enjoyable way to reduce your Family Stress. This was originally published and put in National newspapers in 1981. I have kept my copy, that I now share with you.
I will be transcribing the basic text, not the cartoon text that goes with the photographs on each page. The comic strip and words work best as a unit.
Is not a disease. Stress is normal. Stress is a part of our lives… Where we live, where we work, and even where we play.
When children are involved, the tension is magnified. Parents can get very angry and sometimes everyone suffers.
Must recognize how stress affects our families and learn to cope with it. Because children see and react to their world differently, they often cause stress to their parents. The question is: How to handle family stress? Here are some suggestions…
A REMINDER …
We can’t keep stress out of our lives, but showing affection is a way to reduce stress. We can let our children know that we love them…OFTEN!
Youngsters learn by example. Our affection for each other can be a lesson-in-living for our children.
Our frustrations – in trying to get something done, for example, – can spill over and affect the way our children fell about themselves.
When children feel neglected, they may go to extremes to get our attention. If we can’t include them in what we’re doing, we can explain to them that we’ll get together with them when we’re free to do so.
When children are deeply involved in some activity, it may be literally impossible for them to pay attention to us.
We need to pause and reflect when we get upset at our children – – BEFORE we act.
Probably more meals are ruined at the table than on the stove. Our nagging might be impolite as their sloppy eating.
Even mother puts her elbows on the table occasionally! It takes time for youngsters to become adults – in table manners as in everything else. And they probably learn more from what we do than what we say.
Being a parent means a lot of sharing and not a lot of time alone. Dads can find their quiet times… For mothers it may not be so easy.
We can give each other a break. It’s important to have some time alone if we expect to be able to cope with stress.
Stress often flares up when children won’t cooperate… Take their own sweet time…Won’t do what they’re told…
…But sometimes children may surprise us by doing what we want in THEIR OWN WAY.
They can have good ideas, and even when the ideas aren’t so good, there’s no better cure for stress than a good laugh!
We shouldn’t be surprised when our “adult” problems cause stress to our children.
We can share our problems with other parents who have been “though the mill.” We can reach out to a neighbor, pastor, doctor, or relative for support.
WE CAN ALL MAKE IT TOGETHER WITH EACH OTHER’S HELP.
Dennis the Menace coping with family stress was prepared under contract No. HHS-105-80-C-066 with the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, March 1981.
A message from the Mental Health America (formally known as National Mental Health Association)
This booklet is one part of a national effort to prevent child abuse and neglect. A conservative estimate is that one million children are abused or neglected by their parents or caregivers in this country every year. As many as 2,000 die as a result of maltreatment.
Most child abuse and neglect is not caused by inhuman, hatefuul intent on the part of parents. Rather, it is the result of a combination of factors, including both accumulation of stresses on families and unmet needs of parents for support in coping with their child-rearing responsibilities.
Most child abuse and neglect can be prevented:
~If parents can reach out for the help they need to cope with the stresses in their lives.
~If professionals and agencies that provide services to families can be attentive to families who are having particular difficulties in the demanding task of raising their children.
~If communities can support preventative programs to help families in stress.
If you would like additional copies of this publication, you make contact the:
NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION (aka, MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA)
1021 Prince Street
Alexandria, VA. 22314-2971