How do you cope with and diffuse tension and stress?
Do you release it verbally? physically? emotionally? spiritually? Or were you trained, consciously or inadvertently, to hold it inward? (Hint: This is a root cause of many physical ailments and disease.)
Just like adults, our children, teens and tweens experience tension and stress, too. In fact, due to the breakdown of families, moral virtue at large, and the influx of defilement freely available in entertainment and electronics/technology, they have much more tension and stress than did previous generations of children.
A cause of their acting out is due to their internal buildup of tension and stress.
They have worries and concerns for which they don’t have language. Some acting out is simply their untrained tension release. They’re trying to blow off the internal steam pressure, and they may look and sound like an unmanned missile fueled by a mix of hot magma, rocket fuel, adrenaline, and caffeinated energy drinks doing so!
This doesn’t help parents who are already over-worked and stressed themselves.
For parents, the first place to look is inward. Notice how you handle stress. Inward? Or outward?
My prayer for you.
Father, grace each parent. Give them understanding of how they cope with tension and stress. Give them grace and space to quickly discover healthy ways of diffusing it. Grant greater grace because sin does much abound in our times, and the safety nets previous generations had are dissolved. In our times, intervene. Heal, recalibrate, give light, grace, space, time and resources for each one to understand and to release the daily and seasonal buildup. Restore and do much more in the mighty name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
Next, when you understand how you cope with and diffuse tension and stress, then you’ll be able to help your children recognize and release theirs much more easily.
Some acting out stems from bad habits formed from the years their tensions and stress built up while they simultaneously lacked training to recognize and release it in healthy ways. However, there is hope! No matter how many years it has been internally building, those bad habits can still be changed.
Once you recognize your methods of coping with and diffusing tension and stress (and adjust them as necessary with Father’s grace helping you), you’ll recognize their bad habits for what they are—slamming doors, yelling, refusing or delaying fulfilling your requests or their jobs, etc.
In this very unpleasant place, let me encourage you. The first step is to get your stress under control by adjusting your coping and diffusing methods so you have a solid place of inner stability.
In that transition time, you have to focus on yourself and let their bad habits slide.
In other words, if you are on the edge with your stress, it’s no time to deal with their bad habits. You won’t make progress for you or for them.
Father, greater grace, with speed, alignment, peace and order, for this adjustment time!
Coping with stress starts with taking breaks in the day. John Eldredge highlights the value of the one minute pause. To take one minute and pause before starting the next project, phone call, email, task, etc. Another way is to take time to disconnect from phones and media. It is amazing how quickly this increases internal peace!
Diffusing stress is to discover healthy ways that work for you personally to get it out so it does not build up and create health problems or explode and cause relational problems. Exercise is a way to release stress. However, due to health restrictions, many are limited from exercise. Listening to the Bible on audio, peaceful music or worship songs, sitting outside in the natural world and prayer are excellent ways to diffuse stress.
As you gain ground personally, then, stand in your place as parent spiritually first.
Start by committing your plans to reclaim the lost ground of training to the Father so that your plans will succeed, Proverbs 16:3. Then, repent to the Father for the unforgiveness, anger, unhealthy habits, and lack of training that you and they have. Ask to be washed in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Dedicate those areas of your spirit, soul and body to Father, Son and Spirit to redeem and restore.
You can water the hard ground of that place in their hearts by speaking to their spirits, without their being present, honestly, about what has happened. For example: Beloved, There is stress and tension, and more so for you because of where Father chose to place you in world history. However, there is greater grace where much sin does abound. It is healthy to cope with and diffuse stress and tension, but that didn’t happen as I would have best wanted. Now is the time to start anew and adjust. This will be an adjustment, but it is because I love you, and want you to have healthy life habits, so work with me and not against me, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, this is sealed to your spirit, by the Holy Spirit, amen.
Before you even face them head-on for the adjustment of their bad habits of coping with and diffusing stress and tension in their untrained state, ask the Father to set up a secure communication system between you so that you each can hear and understand what the other one is saying without pain or suffering.
Now is time for physical action.
If their spirit has been nurtured, they have strength in their spirit and soul. That doesn’t mean that they have perfection—or training to handle the ups and downs of life with its stressors. What it does mean is that their bad habits may be bigger and louder due to their strong will—which is exactly what Father wants them to have—the strong will—but with peace and yieldedness to His leading.
When you’ve come to peace and solidity yourself, stood in your place spiritually first, it won’t take long till they have the lightbulb flash on in their worldview that this bad habit will no longer be tolerated. They will recognize your peace, and strength to back it, that you no longer tolerate “that” bad habit of acting out in tension, and it will subside.
Once the crisis bad habit has been addressed and enforced, then you have space to talk with them about tension, stress, and to describe that is what they are feeling, and to discuss healthy ways to deal with it to diffuse it. Share with them honestly the walk that you’ve been on yourself. Acknowledge their stress and tension. Let them know that you want them to have great life skills so that they can have the good future Father has planned for them and written in their Heavenly books.
My prayer for you.
Father, thank You that You call out the generations from the beginning. You have prepared our place in our generation, and You are the restorer of the generational breach. Father, grant greater grace and mercy to restore these inner jewels of peace and strength in the parents, and greater grace and mercy to them to align with You and navigate healthy ways to cope with and diffuse stress in our rapidly changing and danger-fraught world. Hold them, each one, together through the transition. Insulate the parents’ nerves from the stress of their children, tweens and teens’ bad habits of acting out their tension, as the parents press in to resolve theirs. Grant the parents greater grace and mercy to step into their spiritual position with all the peace, confidence and strength You desire for them. Rapidly restore the generational breach—spirit, soul and body—between parents and children, tweens and teens, and restore the years eaten by locusts. Heal them, build them, fill them with Your Holy Spirit. Restore and do much more in the mighty name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
Hope Streams offers spirit and soul healing/building resources. The audio version of Perfect Peace most speedily increases the inner peace in you or your family as you face healthy growth or recovery challenges.
by Crystal Wade, copyright 2018
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