This post is created in partnership with Stress Health, an initiative of the Center for Youth Wellness. All opinions are our own.
Teaching our children basic ways to cope with stress is so important. Our world has become so busy thateven kids have full-time schedules with school and after-school activities. It’s safe to say that kids have a lot of stress in their lives. Because of the way I grew up I use simple ways to teach my kids to cope with stress.
I did not have a normal childhood by any means. That’s one of the reasons I named the site “Our Ordinary Life” over ten years ago. I always wanted an ordinary life, and so I created onewith my kids. They live very typical lives and are typical kiddos, but we have also moved a few times in the last few years. I know that has caused some stress in their lives, and I know that starting a new school is always rough.
I know our children will never have as many stresses that I had. My childhood trauma included watching a parent pass away and being a foster child. I was one of those kids with everything stacked against me and yet somehow here I am. Trying to keep my children from having the same experiences I did as a child means a lot to me. I am always trying to teach them better ways to cope with their stress.
- Daily Affirmations – Start your day with daily affirmations like this free Daily Affirmations for Kids Printable
- Stop the chaos.It’s so important to cut down on the noise. If your child is stressed with homework, then cut down on the distractions. Sometimes even stepping away from a crowded situation is what you need to do to help your child. Sometimes taking a breath and letting it out slowly is all you need to remain calm. I tell my girls they can try thinking about their favorite place or count to 30 inside their heads.
- Exercise & sleep. It’s simple but so true. Proper sleep and nutrition is just as important as being active.
- Talk about problems. Encourage your child to talk about what is stressing them out. Tell them about the things you struggle with, which allows them to know that we have stress, too, and to see the healthy ways we cope with the stress in our lives. Talking about the stress helps to create a healthy dialog.
- Find good distractions. Whenever my girls are stressed out, I always try to look for distractions. Sometime that makes them laugh or sometimes we will watch a movie or play a game. Allowing my children to have a healthy distraction always seems to help them calm down.
You can learn more about stress health and toxic stress for children on the Stress Health website. You can find out if your children are at risk and what you can do to help them.
Parents who suffered severe emotional distress in childhood are also more likely to have children who miss developmental milestonesor experience behavioral or emotional problems,so it’s important to become aware.
How do you encourage your kids to cope with stress?