These are words that I hear several times a day from big kids to little ones. You hear it too when your child calls you from the clinic complaining about it. So many factors play into the etiology of this. Sometimes it’s a simple fix. Maybe they didn’t eat breakfast or forgot a snack and lunch seems so far away. Crackers are a popular item in the clinic. Other times it’s more than just hunger pains.
Take a moment to remember back to when you were in school. Did you have butterflies in your stomach just before you were given a test? Did you feel uncomfortable in situations that you weren’t expecting? Maybe the teacher has asked your child to recite something in front of the class or read aloud. What if their feelings were hurt by another friend or they didn’t get the grade that they expected they would on an assignment.
So many things affect the way that our bodies process stress and anxiety. Your children are learning with each situation how to deal with these feelings and expectations.
Here are some things you can do to help with this:
- Make it a point to feed your children a healthy breakfast.They deserve it. Think of it this way- Does your car operate when there is no gas in the tank? Same scenario should be applied to your children. They work very hard during the day and their bodies require an incredible amount of fuel to perform well. When your child’s body is focused on where it’s next meal is coming from, there is not a lot of schooling being absorbed. I know your children love the crackers, but that does not replace a good breakfast.
- Praise and uplift your children every day.I know you do this, but make a conscious effort to take time out of your day and let your kids know that they’ve done a great job. At our house we sometimes have what we call “suck and sweet” time. We each tell one thing that was bad that day and one thing that was really great. Reflecting on the bad gives you an opportunity to give them advice to make the situation better next time. With the sweet, who doesn’t like to celebrate something great? Remind them that God is with us during the great times, bad times, and everything in between.
- Give grace.As parents, we have very high expectations at times. This in turn will bring up “My stomach hurts.” when they become overwhelmed. What really counts is that they’ve done their best. Remind them that our riches are found in glory with our heavenly Father, not here on earth.
Mrs. Lydia Kinney is the LCS school nurse. If you have questions for Lydia, feel free to email her at email@example.com.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net