Ah, a kid’s life. Playing, snacking, hanging out, watching TV. Sounds like a stress-free life, doesn’t it? But in reality kids get stressed too – and they need to learn how to handle that stress.
Name it. First teach kids to recognize their feelings. Then help them verbalize their feelings. This could be through spoken words, but writing down their feelings works too. Encourage daily journaling. Keep in mind that younger kids might not even know the words for what they are feeling, so help them label their feelings.
Talk about it. Make sure your kids know that you always have time to talk to them about their feelings. Not only will your little ones know that you understand how they feel, but it will also help them learn to express their feelings.
Move it out. Exercise is one of the best ways to cope with stress. So teach your kids to get moving. Even better, exercise as a family. Whether it’s heading outside for a quick game of basketball or a walk around the block, it’s a great way to reduce stress and spend some quality time together.
Put it to music. Research has long supported music as a means of stress relief. Let your kids choose their favorite tunes and take some to listen. Or encourage them to compose their own songs.
Sleep on it. It’s no secret that sleep is super important for a child. And making sure children get enough sleep will help their bodies and brains cope with some of the anxiety naturally.
Model it. Most importantly, let your kids see you handling your stress in positive ways. After all, children are more likely to listen when we back it up with action.