When we think of people being stressed out, adults come to mind. Or perhaps teens or college-age young men and women. But young kids these days have a lot of pressures weighing them down too. From school work to friendships to after-school commitments to family matters to world events and news, today’s children are growing up fast. They can become heavily stressed from an early start.
Some degree of stress is natural and helpful in their drive to learn and grow. But too much stress at a young age can be upsetting, debilitating, and can even have life-long consequences. As parents, we can help our kids navigate through the situations in their lives that may be stressful. And we can help them find healthy solutions to ease their worries, anxieties, and fears.
These useful tips can help your children lift that weight off their shoulders. You can help them manage stressful scenarios in the best way possible. This will not only help them in the present but give them key tools they can put into play as they get older and have more burdens and responsibilities.
Talk it Out
Some kids keep a lot inside. They may feel ashamed, embarrassed, or nervous to talk about what it is that is stressing them out. But the more they hold in, the worse the stress can become. If your child is not the type to open up on their own, you must find a way to get them talking. Make it casual so your child doesn’t feel confronted or put on the spot. Perhaps chit chat during a car ride or over a snack. Bedtime is also a nice opportunity for your child to unload so they can have a restful night’s sleep. Let them know that you are always available to talk, no matter the subject. The more they get used to telling you what is on their mind, the more they will do it. Just by getting things off their chest, your child’s stress will diminish.
Plan Peaceful and Quiet Time
Part of what may be causing your child stress is all that’s available to them in this day and age. From television to video games to computers to sports to music and so on, there is never a moment’s peace in today’s high-tech climate. Kids are always on the go or online, causing them to be over-stimulated. Kids need a rest sometimes. After the school day is through and other activities are completed, think about some meditation or quiet reflection with your children.
You can put on light music or sounds of nature and sit in a dim room to simply breathe deeply and unwind. Think of it as a big kid’s “nap time.” Maybe they’d enjoy a cup of green tea or hot cocoa to calm their nerves and feel soothed. If the weather is nice, go outdoors for a leisurely walk in the neighborhood or have healthy snacks outdoors on a picnic blanket… all phones put away! This quiet time will be a stress-reliever and a moment to appreciate the simple things in life.
Do you think your kids are stressed-out? What do you do to help them calm down?
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By: Melissa A. Kay