Stress can have a significant impact on anyone, but it can be particularly difficult for children to cope with. If youngsters haven’t yet developed their own stress reduction techniques, they may find it difficult to reduce their stress levels, which can exacerbate emotional and physical symptoms of stress.
Fortunately, you can help your child to develop the skills they need to manage stress. To find out how take a look at these top tips now:
Talk About Stress
If children aren’t aware of stress and the impact it can have, they won’t be able to recognize it. Stress is something we all experience, so shielding your kids too much isn’t always the answer. Instead, talk openly about stress and how important it is to find healthy ways to cope with it. By normalizing stress responses, you can teach your child that there’s nothing to be scared or embarrassed about when dealing with stress.
Manage Major Life Changes
When children experience a major change in their life, such as divorce or the loss of a loved one, it can naturally increase their stress levels. To help minimize the impact, make sure these changes are managed carefully. If you’re going through a divorce, for example, get family law advice and figure out how to share custody and what practical implications the breakdown of your relationship will have on your children. When you can answer their questions and maintain a routine, it can drastically reduce your child’s stress.
Like adults, children can suffer the consequences if they don’t get enough sleep. From difficult concentrating to increased anxiety, poor quality sleep can cause a range of issues. However, excess stress can also make it difficult to sleep at night, which means it’s easy to get into a downward spiral. By making sleep a priority and working with your child to develop a healthy bedtime routine, you can help to ensure that their body and mind gets enough time to relax and repair itself.
Mindfulness involves being in the present moment, rather than thinking about the past or worrying about the future and can be a great way to cope with stress. Millions of adults use mindfulness on a daily basis and it’s a great exercise for kids too. You’ll find plenty of resources available online, such as guided mindfulness audio tracks for kids, so it’s easy to teach your children how to become more mindful.
Encourage Kids to Share Their Worries
Bottling things up can increase anxiety, which is why it’s so important that kids feel able to talk openly about the things that worry them. By listening and acknowledging their concerns, you can reinforce how valued their feelings are and provide the support and reassurance they need.
Learning to Deal with Stress
Even though our stress responses are perfectly natural, it’s easy for them to get a little out of control. By learning how to manage stress, however, we can moderate our responses and reduce the impact stress has on us. Like most things, learning how to cope with stress at a young age enables you to hone these skills more quickly.