How to Help our Kids Deal with Stress
Eight in 10 adults are stressed, which doesn’t really surprise me, but what about children and teenagers? Doctors and other health care professionals are seeing an increase in anxiety and stress-related disorders in children as well. Long days at school, more homework, too many after school activities, sports, and bullying can cause physical and emotional problems. Unfortunately, I have seen stress-related issues in my two boys as well. As parents, we get overwhelmed and stressed ourselves, which can keep us from listening and even recognizing some of the problems they may be dealing with. Things to remember:
🌀They need self-care days too. Take small vacations with your children. We just took them to Kalahari in Ohio after a long week of sports, tests, and other school activities. They also enjoy going to the candy store at the mall.
🌀Sit and ask questions. It’s become a habit at our house, that important things that need to be talked about, get discussed right before bedtime.
🌀Promote better sleep. Children 6 to 12 need 9-12 hours and teenagers 8-10 hours of sleep.
🌀Encourage reading & quiet time. Too much screen time especially social media can have negative effects on mental health. Read, play board games, cook healthy meals, or complete a puzzle together.
🌀Establish routines, especially around homework, bedtime, getting ready for school, and dinner.
🌀Build resilience by acknowledging disappointment. Talk to them about some of the positive things that can come from failure and disappointment. Studies show that resilient children are more likely to become successful.
🌀Nurture optimism. One of the key characteristics of resilient people is optimism. Talk and teach them about being grateful.
🌀Discuss the importance of an active lifestyle. Exercise, hiking, mountain biking, and swimming are great ways to spend time together and being active has been proven to reduce depression and anxiety.
🌀Mindfulness training, including breathing practices and yoga are helpful ways to build body-mind awareness and support muscle and body relaxation.