Wednesday, January 11, 2017

5 Tips for Coping With Childhood Stress

It is more and more common for children and adolescents to have stress and anxiety in their lives. It seems stress is on the rise across all generations but can be even more concerning in children and adolescents. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, almost one third of children reported a physical symptom associated with stress. Without proper attention, stress and anxiety can continue to build and have a negative effect on children through their lives. Here are five tips to help you and your child manage stress.

1. Realize that a certain amount of stress is normal and even necessary. Stress hormones are released inside your body to help you have the energy to survive harmful situations. However, having too much stress and over a long period of time can have negative affects both mentally and physically.

2. Help your child recognize stress. Many children do not know how to recognize stress. Understanding their emotions can be difficult. Help your children know how to use their words, rather than behaviors to portray emotions. When your child knows how to recognize her emotions and identify when she is stressed, that will help with the next step: relieving stress.

Scheduling time for play and relaxation can help reduce stress
3. Find a coping mechanism that works for your child. It can be more important for a child to learn how to cope and manage his stress than to remove all the stressors from his life. Check out The Helpful Counselor to find ideas of activities or things you and your child can make, such as playdough stress balls.  Remember, not every coping mechanism will work best for every child. 

4. Help your child learn to deal with mistakes. Encourage your children to continue trying new or difficult things. Help them see what they learned from the experience and how to improve the next time. Focus on their strengths and the things that are in their control. Show them that mistakes are not the end of the world.

5. Relieve your own stress. If you are stressed as a parent, that will have any effect on your child. Set an example to your children of how you slow down and relax during stressful times. There are many different ways to relieve stress: exercise, meditation, reading, or even coloring! Find what works best for you!

Stress management is a crucial life skill to learn as a parent and to teach your children, but it can be challenging. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; sometimes you may need to seek outside help from a trained professional. Continue to pay attention to the signs of stress in your child and create a plan to help them. Gradually, your children will learn to manage the future stressors in their lives.

For more information visit Kids Health

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