Many adults think of childhood as a happy, stress-free time. However, experts in child development say that in many ways childhood is as stressful as any other age.
Young people also report that stress can make some of their days miserable. Fortunately, the following activities have been found to help stressed-out children at any age:
Help them get exercise. Learning good exercise patterns can help them release stress.
Teach them to breathe deeply and slowly. This can help them calm down if they feel themselves tightening up.
Have them get involved in an activity that is just for fun.
And, probably the most effective stress-reducer for children is for parents to reduce the stress in their own lives. Studies show that the ways parents deal with stress has a strong influence on their children’s ability to cope.
Parents can model good coping skills by keeping themselves in control at all times.
Parents should set aside time every day to do a stress-reducing activity with their children, like taking a walk, gardening together, playing cards, or cooking.
And parents can help relieve children’s stress just by listening. Children need to be able to tell someone when they are worried, scared, or angry.
These steps can go a long way toward helping children manage stress.