Stress - Children/Tweens

Too much stress in children can impact:

  • School work.
  • Self esteem.
  • Ability to communicate with others.
  • Relationship with family and friends.

Prolonged stress can also affect brain development.

Stress management techniques:

  • Get active.
  • Deep breathing.
  • Listen to music or draw.
  • Write in a journal.
  • Laugh and have fun.

The truth about stress

  • 1 in 5 children will struggle with poor mental health. Stress is often a contributing factor.
  • Stress is often viewed as being a bad thing; but that isn’t always true.
    • Stress is our body’s natural response to life’s situations; both good and bad.
    • It can energize us to try new things or to get a job done.
  • Problems begin when we have too much stress and we struggle to cope with everyday expectations.

Simple steps to help calm your child

  • Spend time with your children:
    Laughing and having fun together as a family is a great stress buster.
  • Be a good role model:
    Show your children how to stay calm, even when you are feeling stressed.
  • Maintain routines as much as possible:
    Morning routines get the day off to a good start while bedtime routines help kids relax. This is often the time when kids will want to chat about their day.
  • Promote a healthy lifestyle:
    Healthy food, physical activity and adequate sleep helps the body cope more easily with stress.
  • Check in with your child frequently:
    Ask about things that they may be worrying about.
  • Limit extra curricular activities:
    Running from activity to activity creates stress on the whole family.
  • Reserve free time:
    A calendar can help your family stay organized. If you are having trouble finding down time, schedule it in.

Think how stressed you become when you have too many things on the go. We want to give our children opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities. However finding the balance between scheduled and free time is important.

Constant rushing to activities can increase stress levels for both parents and children. Overscheduled children can be tired and miss opportunities for creative play and making friends.

How do we slow down?

  • Allow for down time after work & school Recognize when you are feeling stressed. Re-energize by taking a brief 10-15 min. walk or sit quietly with no interruptions.
  • Limit your activities
    Let your children choose one sport per season & limit activities in the evening during the school week.
  • Have a family calendar
    Display it on the fridge; everyone is responsible to fill it out. If your calendar is full, think about cutting down.
  • Plan ahead
    Involve family members with chores. Prepare a menu list; make meals on the weekend for the week.
  • Make family a priority
    Family time should be as important as school, sports, and social activities. Create more down time and have fun together.
  • Be consistent
    Children need structure & consistency. Morning routines get kids off to a good start while bedtime routines allow time to relax and connect with parents. Make family mealtimes a priority.
  • Be healthy
    Eat well, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. Being well rested gives both you and your child the energy to deal with whatever your busy day brings
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