7 Stress Management Tips for Your Child
Stress, like death and taxes, is unavoidable. It's what you do with it that is important and there's no better time than childhood to learn the invaluable skill of proper stress management.
Here are 7 tips for teaching this art to your child.
1. Teach Them to Focus on the Good Things
Asking your child about the things that they have enjoyed during the day can distract them from the stress and teach them to focus on the good things. Examples of this can be simple questions, such as 'Was there anything that you enjoyed today?' or more prompted ones like 'Was it nice and warm this morning?' .
'Was there a good sunrise?' is another example. Remind them about the simple things that they enjoy and this is something that they can carry into adulthood to help alleviate future stress.
2. Nurture Problem-Solving Skills for Getting Beyond the Stress
Help your child in problem-solving by sitting with them to brainstorm solutions. Start by asking something like 'What are a few things we can do to make this better?' and promote discussion. If the problem is between two children, for instance, you can meditate to keep them civil but let them discuss the solution on their own, with your praise, minimal suggestion, and a bit of prodding.
This will help them resolve things on their own in the future.
3. Work with Them to Help Them Realize How They could have Avoided this Stress
Hindsight is 20/20, so remind them of this and ask 'What could you have done to avoid this?'. This doesn't work for every situation, of course, but teaching a child that a small amount of foresight can go a long way is an invaluable life-lesson that they can use in future social situations and in their careers. Remember, the best way to solve a problem is to anticipate it and prevent it from occuring at all.
4. Teach Them to Relax
Breathing exercises, visualization, even basic meditation are things that you can teach children. If these are not the things that you are familiar with, there are a number of online resources and books at your disposal. Maybe even local classes.
After all, there is no reason that you cannot learn these things and teach them to your children! Breathing exercises especially are quick and easy to learn and can help immensely in helping your child to weed out unwelcome emotions so that they can de-stress and work towards a resolution to what is upsetting them.
5. Teach Them to Make Time for Themselves
If breathing exercises and meditation seem a bit much or you feel the child is too young for these, then simply encouraging them to make time for themselves is an easy way to accomplish a similar effect. Encouraging outdoor playtime at a fixed time daily when weather permits, for instance, is a great way to remind them to take time for themselves to just be kids.
If they are a little older, encourage them to take a self-time weekly for their hobbies. Teaching a child to make time for themselves can help immensely with stress as it teaches the lesson that you have time for things if you MAKE time for them.
6. Make Sure They are Getting Regular Sleep
Children need to be getting enough sleep. Regular sleep times are a must; aside from bedtime, you can schedule naps if the child is younger. Teach them that getting enough sleep is important. It seems like something so simple but a lot of us can attest that in adulthood, it is something we commonly neglect. Don't let your children grow up to feel the same way.
Explain them that sleep is important and it should not be neglected if they want to be able to function at their best.
7. Teach by Example
Your kids look up to you. Tell them about times when you were stressed and what you did to cope. Maybe you exercised or forced yourself to relax through reading or cinema. Maybe you have some coping methods of your own that might help! Sharing your personal experience is a great way to help kids in coping with stress. They see that it affects everyone, even you, and they will want to emulate your methods.
We hope that you have enjoyed this list of 7 stress management tips for your child. Use them to help your children in coping with early stress; the lessons that they learn can last a lifetime. Until then, take a moment for yourself and RELAX.
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