Helping Your Child Cope With Stress
Simple techniques you can do at home--- Lori Cermeno
Five Simple techniques to help your child with stress
Children do not think, act or manage stress like adults; the younger the child is the smaller the stressors. Young children do not yet have the ability to identify or express their own feelings of stress. They struggle with their own emotions and they pick up on their parent’s tension. Often a stressed out child can be detected when a teacher or parent observes changes in a child’s behavior.
- Communication: Help children put words to their feelings. Ask them if they feel nervous, scared, or worried. Ask them what is making them feel that way. Just talking about their concerns and seeing it in the right perspective with assistance from an adult usually lightens the stress.
- Listen and Acknowledge: Encourage your child to talk to you Acknowledge your child’s feelings and do not judge them, let them know that their feelings are valid and help them think positively. Never devalue or minimize children's feelings and emotions, acknowledge them however insignificant or ridiculous they may seem to you. They must realize that you take their concerns seriously and only then will they open up to you.
- Management: Introduce stress management techniques to children. Parents can easily teach and use techniques like deep breathing, positive statements, and simple meditation.
- Routine: Establish a bedtime routine that helps kids relax. Soothing music or relaxing stories promotes sleep and relaxation.
- Quality time: Spend reassuring quality time with children. Parents and teachers can laugh and play together. Singing silly songs about togetherness and happiness can be a liberating and fun stress reliever that you and your children can enjoy together.