Children and StressMonday, January 18. 2010
We all know, as adults, we get stressed and we often know when our teenagers are stressed; but how do we know and how can we help our children deal with stress?
Life is full of ups and downs and as a parent values need to be developed; it is important to know you and your child understand to respect and be fair to others whilst being caring and honest. Provide an opportunity for your child to feel valued by being respectful and listening to them. Ensure your child feels valued and respected will help them once they begin socialising with other children at kindergarten and school.
There are a number of children that experience family problems as well as those who take on issues they view on television or around them. To combat stress it is important you and your child develop a healthy self-esteem, whilst they are still young.
You may not want to introduce the idea of stress but it is important that you talk to your child about ‘bad days’ or ‘hard days’. Helping your child deal with stress will ensure they can act optimistically when it does arrive; do this by teaching your child to acknowledge feelings and help them by talking through a problem positively.
Children need to be taught social and problem solving skills to cope when ‘bad days’ occur. It is important not to overpower your child and make all their decisions or talk for them; doing this will mean when they are put in certain situations they will ‘stress’ because they have never had the chance to act alone.
To increase the resilience of your child you could ask them to set goals and allow them to organise themselves. Also, provide the opportunity for community involvement whether it is in sport, drama, art or a youth group. Most young children benefit from being around a caring adult, who is not a parent or a sibling.
Teaching a younger person to deal with their emotions, especially anger or anxiety may be hard. But talking through a ‘bad day’ will help; this could happen at night time, in bed. It is important to talk about what good things happened in the day, that then out way any bad issues. It is important that children learn to see the positive in negative situations; this will help a lot throughout school life and then when they enter the work force.
Share your tips, stress releases and parenting stories here
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