Help Your Child Manage Stress

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 11.49.24 AMParents aren’t the only ones that get stressed.  Kids also feel the effects of stress and with FCAT here, this can be an extremely stressful time for them.  When events, issues or work are stressing our children out, parents can try and ease the stress by making sure their children get enough sleep, down time and play time.  We’ve come up with a list of easy ways to help our children be less stressed.

Do relaxing activities – Take your child out for a leisurely walk around the park.  Try a yoga class or meditate.  Find something that is relaxing for them and make sure to include it in their daily routine.

Mandate down time – This might be hard for parents, but your child needs time to do nothing and decompress.  This could be listening to music in their room, watching TV or playing outside.  Whatever they like to do, give them a little time each day to just chill out.

Help manage responsibilities – Sometimes children can feel overwhelmed by all of the responsibilities they have.  Use a calendar to visualize what they need to do each week, month or even day.  By organizing and prioritizing what needs to get done and when, they will feel like their tasks are more manageable.

Make family time mandatory – Studies show that eating family meals together keeps the family connected and communicating.  Make sure to sit at the table with the TV off and actually talk to each other.  Being connected will help your child be more resilient to the negative effects of stress.

Listen to your child – If you think there is something bothering your child, ask them.  Listen calmly and don’t discount their feelings.  What is bothering them might not seem like a big issue to you, but for them it might be.  Take your time to consider their feelings.

Be patient – As a parent, it hurts to see your child unhappy or stressed. But try to resist the urge to fix every problem. Instead focus on helping your child, slowly but surely, grow into a good problem-solver.

Just be there – Kids don’t always feel like talking about what’s bothering them. Sometimes that’s OK. Let your kids know you’ll be there when they do feel like talking. Even when kids don’t want to talk, they usually don’t want parents to leave them alone. You can help your child feel better just by being there — keeping him or her company, spending time together.