UNDER AGE STRESS: 7 Tips to Help Kids Navigate Stress
Have you ever noticed children who walk just like their dad? Or watched a family of children pursue their parents’ athletic interests? Or perhaps you’ve heard the countless stories of singers who contribute their success to growing up in a household singing with their mom and dad.
Our children model our most endearing qualities and behaviors. It’s so sweet! They also model the qualities and behaviors we wish we didn’t have, such as living in chronic stress. Our children feel their OWN stress, as well as see, hear and experience OUR stress.
This past year stress has been at an all-time high for children and adults. Now more than ever we need to teach our kids how to navigate stress. Why? Because stress is the number one cause of the most common health issues.
What are some of the leading causes of stress in kids?
Being overcommitted or overscheduled. Multiple sports teams per season, various activities each evening, eating in the car, running from one thing to the next. More is not always better.
Unrealistic expectations from self and others. Having unrealistic expectations causes anxiety and feeling overwhelmed.
Social Media. Falling into comparison trap is real and stressful.
Bullying. It can happen anywhere!
Living in a high stress environment. If we are not good at managing our own stress level, how do our children learn to manage theirs?
What are some of the common signs of stress?
- Stomach issues
- Mood swings/irritability/outbursts
- Trouble sleeping
- Withdrawing from family, friends, activities
- Seeking constant attention
- Needing affirmation that everything is ok
The good news is we can help our children manage stress.
- Teach them to breathe. It takes less than two minutes to decrease stress when we focus on our breathing. Inhale for the count of 5. Hold for the count of 5. Exhale slowly for the count of 7. Repeat 10 times.
- Consistency—Kids thrive on predictability. Let them have time to relax, be silly, be creative and explore new interests.
- Establish a nighttime routine. Taking time to prepare for the following day allows children (and parents) to have a more calm and relaxing morning.
- Provide an open communication policy—LISTEN. It’s not always about fixing. It’s about listening, understanding and being present for them.
- Help them understand that failure is simply feedback. Failure is where success ultimately lies!
- Create boundaries around the news and social media. Limiting these platforms decreases fear, anxiety and what if’s, allowing children to be focused and engaged in the present moment.
- Become aware of and manage your own stress. When we manage our stress, our calmness trickles down into our children. A peaceful mom…a peaceful family!
Stress impacts all areas of life. Bringing awareness and intentionally taking small action steps to decrease what’s causing the greatest stress is the key to bringing more peace and joy into your child’s life, as well as your own.
In my coaching practice, I help my clients reduce and manage stress which trickles down to their children. If you’re ready to stop letting stress manage you and your family, click here to set up a time to talk. Stress impacts our relationships, health, social life and so much more.
Rise up and live!
Certified Master Coach
Founder, Rise Up and Live Wellness