A New Year’s Resolution: Stress Management for KidsJanuary 2, 2015
We often think of childhood as an easy going time of fun and games. But the truth is, in today's age when kids are completely covered up with activities and school expectations, it can be easy for kids to get overwhelmed. Sometimes it's hard for kids to feel as though they can get their heads above water and catch a breath.
You might not even realize it, but you can empower your child with tools that will allow them to deal with stress both right now and when they are adults. And reducing stress means having kids who have more fun and are more joyful in their lives.
We've touched on types of stress and which ones are bad and which ones are good. Now here are some super kid friendly tips that will not only ease stress now, but which will also give your kids solid tools to work with going forward. Think of it as helping out your adult child!
Active imaginations are one of those huge markers of childhood. Those vivid experiences can just as easily offer children pleasant or stressful emotions. Kids can learn to harness the power of imagination when they feel overwhelmed and to envision a peaceful scene.
If your child seems to be struggling with everything going on, invite them to share a moment of quiet imagination with you. All you do is to sit quietly and think of floating on a cloud, or wading in the water of the ocean, or whatever peaceful scene is inviting.
This is a simple and yet incredibly powerful tool for combating stress, even in young children. When the world becomes overwhelming, teach your child to stop and do a “stress check” in which they mentally hold up a stop sign. Then have them ask themselves out loud, “Why am I stressed? What can I do, right now, to stop this stress?” Sometimes it’s an easy fix, and it just takes that moment of reflection. This is a great technique for you too mom and dad!
Breathe It Out
If your child can count to five, then they can use controlled breathing to lower the physical signs of stress. Count to three slowly while breathing in, then slowly count to five while breathing out. It’s important that the outbreath is longer than the inbreath, as this actually triggers the brain to lower stress hormones.