When it comes to stress, the best offense is a good defense. Defend your child against stress by following five simple tips that are known to help kids (and everyone) prevent stress and buffer its impact on their life.
1. Get Some Zzzzzzz's
One of the single-most important things we can do as parents is make sure our kids get enough shut-eye. Sleep requirements vary with age. Refer to these guidelines by WebMD, and see how your child's sleep measures up. Be sure to scroll through to see each age bracket.
2. Avoid Overscheduling
You know that feeling you get when you have too much to do and not enough time to do it? Your child gets it, too. School, play dates, sporting events, homework and more can all pile-up, leaving little down time for your child to just "be" a kid. Make sure your child has plenty of time to pursue her own interests in an unstructured manner.
3. Move It!
Physical activity is essential to your child or teen's overall health. Aside from providing exercise it releases those helpful "feel good chemicals" (endorphins), helps maintain a healthy weight, can aid in sleep and can become a family bonding time. Need some inspiration? See HERE.
4. Help Them Deal with Feelings
Not being able to deal effectively with feelings contributes to stress in a variety of ways. Negative thinking can be a root cause of anxiety and depression, even in kids and teens. It's most helpful to provide support and new tools to help kids cope, rather than to find yourself in damage control. If you need help supporting your child with this, you can find clinical strength resources to help kids and teens with feelings HERE.
5. Show Them How!
Parents who keep their cool and who can manage their own reactions have a competitive edge in helping their children do the same. If you are a parent who struggles with your own emotions, you are not alone. Get more support to help you better deal with things, so you can help your children. If you are looking for a whole new approach at this parenting thing, check out how neuroscience can inform our parenting practices and help our families find their sweet spot.
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This is just a beginning. There are many more things parents can do to help their kids combat stress. What's your favorite approach to keeping your family relaxed and happy?