Though stress is a normal part of life, too much stress or poor management of stress can be detrimental to your children’s well-being. If you recognize that your children are overly stressed, try some of the ideas mentioned in this blog.
Signs Your Child is Stressed:
- Shows aggression.
- Withdraws from friends and family.
- Overreacts to little problems.
- Shows hyperactive behavior.
- Demonstrates eating or sleeping changes or disorders.
- Resists going or refuses to go to school.
How to Help
- Communicate. Ask your children about their day. Keeping the lines of communication open will help your children open up about anything that’s stressing them out or that they are struggling with. Help them identify their stress and work with them to find ways to manage that stress.
- Avoid chaos and over-scheduling. If your mornings are crazy and meals are eaten on the go, it may be time to rework morning routines (such as waking up earlier) or cutting one or two thing out of your children’s schedules and instead of adding in some down time for your children. As much as you can, make home a calm place to be.
- Set more time aside for sleep. Sit down with your children and figure our a bedtime plan that allows for sufficient sleep. Sleep is essential in combating stress.
- Model and practice coping strategies. Children usually pick up on their parents’ stress. Try to model healthy stress management, such as exercising, eating healthy, or listening to calm music. Practice deep-breathing exercises with your children and encourage them to keep a stress journal that tracks stress, your children’s feelings, and what helps/helped them feel better.
All About Resilience
One part of stress management is resilience, or the ability to bounce back during hard times. Here are some way you as a parent can help your children build resilience:
- Guide them. Instead of rushing to the rescue, let them make mistakes and work to solve their problems.
- Encourage self-care by helping them exercise, eat healthy, sleep enough, and practice mindfulness.
- Maintain a daily routine that includes regular breaks from activities.
- Help your children participate in service activities to increase their sense of empowerment.
These are just a few ideas. For more ideas, try apps that help build resilience or talk with a mental health professional. With the right tools, children can learn to cope and to use challenges to become stronger. Resilient children will be must more prepared and successful at facing uncertainty and future stressful situations.
This blog was written by Hope Squad. Hope Squad student members are trained to be aware of their peers and watch for warning signs. They learn to show empathy to their peers, listen without judgment, and reduce stigma regarding help-seeking and mental illness. Hope Squads are now in over 1,200 schools across 35 states and Canada. During the seventeen years since Timpview High School started a Hope Squad, the school has not lost a student to suicide. And as Hope Squad grows, we will continue to spread hope and save more lives. Learn more by visiting https://hopesquad.com/.