Children are vulnerable to stress. 13 out of 100 children experience some kind of anxiety disorder and many more are just stressed out! Living a balanced life and reducing stress in kids is a challenge for most families. Make sure that you offer your children the tools they need to maintain emotional balance. Fill your child’s emotional backpack with answers for stress management and relaxation. Kids can be active participants in creating their own healthy, calm lives.
- Be aware that change, be it positive or negative, creates stress for most kids.
- Make time to relax and schedule downtime for your children. Do not over-schedule.
- Show your child how to maintain a positive outlook, stop the chatter and lists in their heads, and take their mind off of their worries.
Here are 4 tips and proven techniques to help you and your children manage stress:
- Use affirmations or positive statements to counteract kids’ stress.
Teach your children to take a break and say, “I am calm. I am relaxed. I am peaceful. I am happy. I am safe.” Write a positive statement and have your child carry it in their pocket for the day. Put a list in the back of their school notebook for them to access at any time. ( This is easy with Affirmation Weaver )
- Create visualizations – imagining can be both fun and effective.
Create a happy thought that children can “go to” when stressed or worried. Develop a short story or scene that your child can think of when they are fearful or anxious.. Go for a calming ride on a cloud or float in a bubble. Slide down a rainbow and encourage your child to create their own relaxing story. Let them write it down or record it and then let them relax mom or dad with their visualization. (A Boy and a Turtle introduces visualizing.)
- Practice controlled breathing.
Taking slow deep breaths can help lower a child’s anxiety and anger. All children can benefit from this important powerful stress and anger management technique. Children with special needs; Autism, Aspergers, ADHD, SPD, PTSD can learn to bring their energy level down a notch and feel in charge of themselves. Children can use breathing when they feel over-stimulated or on a verge of a temper tantrum, have them focus on their breathing and soothe themselves. Breathe in 2,3,4 and out 2,3,4. In 2,3,4 and out 2,3,4. Encourage your child to show one of their dolls or stuffed animals this technique. (Kids love to breathe with Sea Otter Cove.)
- Use progressive muscle relaxation to help your child to fall asleep.
Relax your child’s mind and body by telling various muscle groups to relax. Start with your child’s feet and work your way up to their head or reverse the order. After a few tries your child will be able to use this technique on their own. “I am going to relax my legs. I will relax my legs. My legs are relaxing. My legs are relaxed.” For a variation, try active progressive muscular relaxation. Tighten muscle groups and relax. “Hold, hold, hold…..Ahhhhh…” (The Goodnight Caterpillar uses this technique.)
All of the above mentioned techniques are incorporated into our books, CDs and Lesson plans and we invite you to explore our entire site to learn more about how you can introduce your family to stress management.
Indigo Dreams shorter stories with relaxation techniques for younger child.
Indigo Ocean Dreams longer stories with relaxation techniques for older children.
Indigo Teen Dreams guided instructions with relaxation techniques for teens.
Indigo Dreams: Adult Relaxation guided instructions with relaxation techniques for adults.
Indigo Dreams: Garden of Wellness stories for all children includes techniques to release anger and positive statements to encourage healthy eating.
Indigo Dreams: 3 CD Set: All 3 children’s CDs: 3 Hours of stories, techniques & stories.
Stress Free Kids founder Lori Lite has created a line of books and CDs 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 Twitter and Facebook .