By Lori Lite
Children do not think, act, or manage stress like adults; the younger the child the smaller the stressors. Arriving at school to find a rearranged classroom or a substitute teacher can be big stressors to kids.
Young children do not yet have the ability to identify or express their own feelings of stress. They struggle with their own emotions and they pick up on their parents tension. The American Psychology Association noted that 39% of children feel sad and worried when their parents are stressed. Often a stressed out child can be detected when a teacher or parent observes changes in a child’s behavior.
Frequent melt-downs, sleeping problems or nightmares, clingy behavior, refusal to go to school, acting younger than their age, bed-wetting, stomachaches and headaches are signals that your child may be experiencing too much stress. The main thing to look for is a change in behavior. Trust your instinct.
Tips to Reduce Stress:
2. Acknowledge your child’s feelings and encourage the use of positive statements. Often children do not understand the outcome of an action or change. Instead of realizing their favorite teacher will be back tomorrow..they might think she is gone forever. Create positive statements for the situation.
“I am safe. My substitute teacher is fun. My teacher will be back soon.”
3. Introduce stress management techniques to children. Parents and teachers can easily teach and use techniques like breathing, positive statements, and visualizing on a regular basis. Lesson Plans are available.
4. Establish a bedtime routine that helps kids relax. Soothing music or relaxing stories. Indigo Dreams: Kids Relaxation Music promotes sleep and relaxation.
5. Spend reassuring quality time with children. Parents and teachers can laugh and play together. Singing songs like The More We Get Together, This Is The Way We Laugh And Play and If You’re Happy And You Know It can be a liberating and fun stress reliever that you and your children can enjoy together.
A stress free kid today will be a happier, healthier adult tomorrow!
Stress Free Kids founder Lori Lite has created a line of books, CDs and lesson plans designed to help children, teens, and adults decrease stress, anxiety, and anger. Ms. Lite’s books, CDs, and lesson plans are considered a resource for parents, psychologists, therapists, child life specialists, teachers, and yoga instructors. Lori is a certified children’s meditation facilitator and Sears’ Manage My Life parenting expert. For more information visit Stress Free Kids and for daily advice follow Lori on Twitterand Facebook .