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Kids and Stress

This page is part of our School Newsletter Inserts section.
Use these short articles in your school newsletters throughout the school year.

Stress is often viewed as 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.

1 in 5 children will struggle with poor mental health. Stress is often a contributing factor.

For children, stress can have a negative impact on their school work, self-esteem, ability to communicate with others and relationships with family and friends. Recent research shows that prolonged stress in children can also affect brain development.

Stress management is an important skill for children to learn and parents play a major role in helping them develop this skill.

Here are some ways you as a parent can help with stress management:

  • 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 children relax. This is often the time when children 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.
  • Teach your child stress management techniques. There are lots of different ways to manage stress. For example deep breathing, positive self-talk, doing a fun activity such as drawing or listening to music, and using problem solving or organizational strategies are all ways that people manage stress. Help your child find a technique that will work for them.