Helping Children Cope With Stress
As adults we think of childhood as being happy and carefree, however today our world is different. What kinds of stress do children experience? Children in today’s world have many concerns. Typical stresses would include school work and socialization however, the stress doesn’t stop there for today’s modern children.
Many stressors today come from financial burdens with the recession. Many children might have experienced a parent getting laid off and trying to make ends meet on the home front while others are worried that their parents may lose their jobs.
World news can cause stress. Kids who see disturbing images on TV or hear talk of natural disasters, war, and terrorism may worry about their own safety and that of the people they love. It is important to talk and listen to your kids about what they see and hear, and monitor what they watch on TV so that you can help them understand what's going on.
To decrease a child's stress, adults need to watch how they deal with their own stress. It’s important to remember that children are imitators and often may cope with stress the same way they see adults handle their stress. So be sure to set a positive example in front of your children.
Get involved! Being an involved parent will help because just knowing your available and providing a safe secure home will be a natural stress reducer for your child. Be sure to set aside free time daily, maintain a routine, as much as, possible by making a routine you give a child a comforting sense of order and security.
It is important parents talk to their children. Don’t tell children to stop stressing, ask them why they are stressing and how you can help. Stress is normal, and talking about it helps normalize a stressful situation.
Other ways you can help your child deal with stress is get them involved with martial arts, yoga, or exercise. Having a place to help them physical release stress is not only helpful it is healthy. Teaching them relaxation techniques can be helpful for them and beneficial for the entire family.
Our children have more and more stress in today’s world and helping children cope with stress can help a parent deal with their own stress as well. Take control of stress by making a point to be open and honest about it. Everyone will benefit.
Written by Tyler Woods Ph.D.
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