Helping children cope with stress
Parents' Corner | 03-Jan-2018
By IC Desk @ Deeksha
To adults, childhood can seem like a carefree time. But kids still experience stress. Things like school and their social life can sometimes create pressures that can feel overwhelming for kids. As a parent, you can't protect your children from stress — but you can help them develop healthy ways to cope with stress and solve everyday problems. Parents, sometimes, fail to realize the situation of their child and this is one of the main reasons as to why a child becomes unable to cope with stress adequately.
Here are some of the following things to keep in mind that you can do to help your child cope with stress and improve your relationship with the child, at the same time.
- Listen – The most important thing that most parents tend to not do these days is to listen to what their child has to say. There might be several reasons behind it, including being stressed yourself. But listening to a child goes a long way in understanding them and their concerns better. Communication is key in any relationship and to further strengthen your relationship with your child, you must be willing to hear them out. It will benefit both you and your child.
- Managing your own stress – More often than not, parents find themselves to be in a position where they are stressed with work and other activities. The key factor here is that children often get stressed out just by watching their parents stress out. Maintaining a positive environment goes a long way in reducing stress, not just for the child but for yourself too.
- Speak openly to your child about possible solutions he/she can take to deal with whatever is troubling them. Sometimes, you might be able to help yourself by coming up with solutions while helping your child with their troubles.
- Taking breaks – Allow your child to get adequate breaks and free time so that children can engage themselves in activities they like, which will enhance a sense of comfort and relaxation in their minds. Every activity does not have to be productive. We all need our downtime to ease our pressure, children need it too.
- Practice a healthy way of living – It has been observed that adequate amounts of sleep help in coping with stress. Relaxation methods like Yoga also improve well-being. Engage your child in such activities, while practicing them yourselves so that you can also benefit from it and not just the child.
- Come up with coping strategies which will help the child relax. Identifying and teaching coping strategies will help children cope better with stress. As parents, we are our children’s first teachers. They watch our behaviors and see what we do when we’re stressed out. We need to model good, healthy coping strategies too.
Stress is inevitable. But it can be controlled. Helping your child cope with stress can help you cope with yours, as well. As a parent, it hurts to see your child unhappy or stressed. But try to resist the urge to fix every problem. Instead, focus on helping your child, slowly but surely, grow into a good problem-solver — a child who knows how to roll with life's ups and downs, put feelings into words, calm down when needed, and bounce back to try again. Parents can't solve every problem as children go through life on their own. But by teaching healthy coping strategies, you'll prepare your child to manage the stresses that come in the future.
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