Stress can affect adults and children alike. Whether it’s due to a heavy workload, challenging curriculum, relocation, family struggles, financial struggles, or emotional issues, a great deal of stress can become a burden on the whole family.
You may ask the question, how you can help the kids cope with stress at home or at school? While many people tend to just leave their kids to play video games or watch TV, this is for obvious reasons, not the healthiest, or the most entertaining way to spend pastime. Fortunately, there are ways that you can help your kid go through stressful situations and learn from them, so read on!
There are many ways kids react to stressful situations and they can cause disruptions in their everyday functioning. For example, they might lose appetite, interest in certain play activities, withdraw from their peers, experience sleep disturbances, such as nightmares, insomnia, or general restlessness, angry outbursts, or attention issues. While some of these can be completely normal and temporary reactions to a sudden change in their environment, you should try to talk to them and identify if they need help.
As a parent or caretaker, you may be wondering if you should offer some kind of distraction from the cause of stress. While this is only partially true, you should put more focus on maintaining a healthy routine, despite the challenges. Here are ten ideas how you can help your kid achieve it:
If your kid is struggling with challenging homework, writing essays, or solving complex math problems, try to split these tasks into smaller portions. Also, try to make an hourly plan of activities, so that homework, playtime, naptime, and meals are on schedule.
Even the smallest success is a big victory, so make sure that you don’t take it for granted and just focus on the negatives. A small but meaningful reward can go a long way.
Having well-established daily rituals can help your kid become more resilient to stress. If they’re managing their time well, and respecting their breaks without wasting time, they’ll easily cope with stress and won’t feel frustrated. You can help them by making sure that:
- Have healthy and regular meals
- Drink enough water
- Take breaks
- Spend time with their friends
- Don’t skip their playtime
Whether your kid is just a toddler or a grade-schooler, it’s perfectly normal for them to blow off some steam when feeling overwhelmed. Of course, you should distinguish between aggression, tantrums, and healthy venting.
Problem-solving is one of the most useful skills your kid can develop and when faced with challenges, they shouldn’t be discouraged. Instead, they should look forward to overcoming obstacles and learning something new. It’s a way to build resilience, time management, and focus.
Afterschool activities are the best ally when it comes to relieving stress in kids. They don’t only serve as a distraction, but a way to learn, grow and enrich the everyday routine. Professionals from Uptown Jungle Mesa agree that a combination of physical and mental exercise can truly benefit your kid, so let’s take a look at what they can do.
This can involve many things, from listening to music to building blocks, to playing board games. Here are some examples that you can try with your kid:
- Family walks or hiking – your kid will truly enjoy exploring the surroundings and spending time with you, so it’s can benefit the whole family
- Cycling – take your kids on a fun bike ride around the neighborhood or enjoy the trails in the vicinity
- Jump roping or hula hooping – although it might seem repetitive, we all enjoyed these activities when we were kids. It’s great for stress relief, balance, and motor coordination
- Swimming – visit the local pool or beach and relax. The water has a known calming effect on the body and swimming is a low-impact activity that’s gentle on the joints. Kids love water, but you need to teach them how to swim and supervise them.
- Trampoline jumping – kids love jumping and excitement, and trampolines combine that perfectly. Besides, it’s great for their bone density and can help them release tension
- Ninja and obstacle courses – this is a very engaging activity that will keep your kid active both physically and mentally.
Whether your kid is in grade school or kindergarten, you can make great use of their time during stressful periods to develop coping strategies that will help them later in life.