Friday, August 21, 2009
8 Ways to Help Your Kids Deal with Stress
As much stress as you’re feeling in your day-to-day life, never forget that your kids are vulnerable to feeling anxious, too. Children can pick up on stressful feelings, which make them feel worried, guilty or scared. Other external stressors that affect kids include trouble with friends or bullies, academic setbacks, feeling left out, feeling unsafe at home or at school, and suffering from low self-esteem. To help your kids prepare for the challenges that they’ll face as they grow older, show them constructive ways to deal with stress as children, too. Here are 8 ways to help your anxious kids.
1. Address problems right away. If something traumatic or worrisome occurs, like the loss of a pet, address the problem right away, giving your kids a chance to express his or her confusion, fear, anger or worry before it bottles up inside of them.
2. Lead them on. When helping children confront their problems, it’s okay to lead them on by suggesting feelings that they might be experiencing. This lets them know that their feelings are normal and that others have the same emotions.
3. Make them feel safe. If your kids are afraid of a bully or if they feel unsafe at home, take specific actions to reassure them that you are watching out for their safety at all times. Show them locked doors and windows, talk to their teachers about bullying problems, and let them know that it’s your job, not theirs, to worry about protecting the family.
4. Watch your reactions when you’re around kids. Kids watch adults and older siblings to gauge their own emotions about a problem, so don’t lose your cool or show how upset you are around young children.
5. Give your kids an outlet. Physical exercise and vegging out time are important for kids, too. Setting up a schedule for homework and chores is good for kids, but don’t be too rigid: allow them playtime and time to relax, too.
6. Understand the signs. Some children keep their anxiety inside, so you’ll need to monitor your child’s behavior to evaluate their stress levels. Anxious kids will bite their nails, hold lots of tension in their bodies, zone out, and even give themselves stomachaches, diarrhea or headaches.
7. Help your kids understand that they can’t control everything. Let your child know that he or she doesn’t have anything to worry about, especially when it comes to controlling other people or circumstances. The only thing that is important is the way they deal with things.
8. Be present. By being a strong, authoritative, compassionate presence in your child’s life, you will help them realize that they are living in a stable environment. Praise them when they do well in school, and offer gentle, constructive criticism when they need to be disciplined.
This post was contributed by Amber Hensley, who writes about the online universities.
BE HAPPY.GOD BLESS.