It is proven that stress and anxiety are a common problem in today’s fast-paced, activity-packed society. Stress can be caused by a number of factors and in children; it usually surfaces when an exam is near or when results are out. If your child seems stressed and anxious, try these simple but effective ways to help them cope.
Don’t dismiss their feelings
Telling a child not to worry about their fears may only make things worse as they will think they are doing something wrong by feeling anxious. Let children know that it’s okay to feel bad about something and encourage them to share their emotions and thoughts.
Do you know how enormously comforting it is to have someone listen to you when something’s bothering you? The same applies to children. If they don’t feel like talking, let them know you are there and that you will wait till they finally feel like talking. When they do come around, listen to them like you would an adult. Do not interrupt until they are finally done talking then devise ways together to solve whatever it is bothering them.
Offer comfort and distraction
Try to do something with your child that you are certain they will enjoy like a favorite game, reading a favorite book or watching a favorite movie. This will help take the child’s mind off the problem and even cheer them up. This shows that you have noticed their change in mood and are offering support.
Exercise is great and will help boost a child’s mood positively. Even if it’s just for a walk around the block, fresh air and physical activity may be what they need to lift their spirits and give them a new perspective on things.
A healthy child is a happy one
Make sure children eat right and get enough sleep. Not getting enough rest or eating unhealthy foods at irregular intervals can contribute to your child’s stress. If they feel good, they’ll be better equipped to work through whatever it is bothering them.
Avoid hectic schedules
Too many activities going on at once like soccer practice, dance classes, karate and piano lessons will definitely lead to a great amount of stress in a child. If adults need some free time after work to relax then so do kids.
Set a calm example
Set the tone for how stress and anxiety in children and adults is handled in your house. It’s virtually impossible to block out stress from our lives in today’s high-tech, 24-hour-news-cycle world, but you can do something about how you handle your own stress.
And the more you are able to keep things calm and peaceful at home, the less likely it is that anxiety in children will be a problem in your household.