Relaxation News by Laurie H. Miller, C.C.H.

Are Your Children Modeling Your Stress Response?

Issue 25 – May 2006

Laurie’s Notes

Dear Clients,

relaxationAfter almost 20 years in the same location, I’ve moved. The owner of the Gillette building took over the entire space for his business that is booming. As many of you know, there has been a parking problem and noise problem, so it seems that it was time to go.

The good news is that I am only about 3 miles from my old location, easy to get to, plenty of parking, and in a beautiful sound proof office. It is handicap accessible from the back of the building, and I can be found easily on the ground floor.

Moving has tested my ability to be flexible, accept change, and let go! It took me 3 months to make it happen. I am looking forward to serving you in my beautiful new office!

Take care, Laurie


Are Your Children Modeling Your Stress Response?

Some parents have problems either at work or at home, or are overwhelmed with too much to do. Some have difficulty relaxing or having fun. In modeling their parents, which all children do, they can take on their parent’s stress and may model the stress behavior their parents exhibit.

Kids may project negative outcomes just like their parents, or have symptoms of anxiety just like their parents. They may act out the stress behavior, like anger at their friends. Sometimes the parents don’t notice until the child shows overt behavioral changes. Some children act like they have to take care of a parent. This can also be a sign of internalized stress.

It is sometimes thought that children don’t notice, or are resilient to trauma or change, but their subconscious minds have the same fight or flight response as ours. Over time the stress response takes its toll and can set in negative patterns that will affect the child’s positive progress at school, at home, or socially.


Physical: Anxiety, nail biting or picking, nervous habits, bed wetting, stomach aches, teeth grinding, and illness (always check with a doctor).

Emotional: Difficulty making friends and expressing themselves, anger, fighting, withdrawing, low self esteem, lack of confidence, and fear.

Mental: Inability to concentrate or focus, poor performance in school or sports, self criticism, negative thinking, over focus on TV or computer.


4 Steps To Help Your Child Cope With Stress

1. Handle your own stress problems, so that you model new positive behaviors.
2. Talk to your child about what they are feeling. Understand that they may be trying to protect you or themselves.
3. Give your child “stress outlets”, like new fun activities, exercise, family talk time, or even a punching bag.
4. Get help for your child. It is as important for them to understand what is happening as for you.


Gary Johnson, Melissa Rogers, Suzanne Harris, Larisa Gruer, Heidi Jung, Dr. Barney and staff, Linda Gravani, Emma Wilkison, Ellen Tracy, Dr. Andrews, Julie,Richard Penkava, Dr. Mara Latts, Jan Alpert, Erik Johnson, and Sandy Skahen.

Thanks for those who have sent me more than one new client.