It’s sad to think of your precious child having to deal with stress, but there are many events in life that can cause anxiety even in very young children. The pressures of doing well at school are recognized as being responsible for stress in older kids, but health problems, family unrest, moving home or school, difficulties with friendships, and emotional problems can all cause a degree of stress. Sensitive children and those who are on the autistic spectrum may be more prone to having stress in their lives, but it can affect any child, no matter how loving and stable their family.
Talking to your kids
One of the most important actions you can take as a parent is to communicate with your child. If they are able to discuss their feelings with you without fear of being dismissed or getting into trouble, you’ll find any incidences of stress in their lives can be managed far more effectively. Children often fear that they will not be taken seriously, or that you might get cross with them if they confide in you, so it’s important that you give them your full attention and respond sympathetically. If they’ve done something they shouldn’t have, then you can talk about why their behavior was undesirable, and how to conduct themselves more appropriately in future, but try not to be emotional and condemn them for what’s happened. Alienating your child so they avoid sharing their worries with you is sure to make their problems worse and lead to trouble in the future.
Many schools and youth groups are using forms of meditation like mindfulness to help children learn to relax and reduce stress levels. These methods have proven to be beneficial, and mindfulness, in particular, is great for kids as the technique is so simple. You can help your child relax with mindfulness sessions at home, and if you’re new to the concept, you’ll find plenty of free resources on the Internet that will help you understand how to conduct a session with your child. Combining relaxation with exercise is one of the reasons why yoga benefits so many people. Not only does it improve flexibility, strength, and posture, but the relaxation element is very effective for clearing the mind, and your child will learn some invaluable breathing techniques that will help them in stressful situations. Encouraging your kids take part in activities they enjoy will also help divert their minds from their worries and give them something different to focus on.
Sometimes kids feel stressed and don’t know why, sometimes there is a specific reason. By talking to them you will be able to find out what is behind your child’s feelings and where possible take action to resolve the situation. Stress is an inevitable part of life, and part of your job as a parent is to equip your children with the skills they need to cope with all the difficult situations and negative feelings they may encounter throughout their lives. If you can show them how to deal with their problems and manage their stress, you will be helping them to lead a happier, healthier life.