Children are highly susceptible to adults’ moods and emotions, so the stress levels of their parents and educators directly affect them. Anxiety in children can manifest itself in many ways and it’s not always easy to spot. Here are tips for reducing that angst.
How to reduce stress in children:
If you’re running around with a busy day, try and keep your child in the loop. Not knowing what comes next is extremely stressful for kids. Use simple words to describe where you’re going, what you’re doing there and take the time to answer any questions they have.
Model your own emotions and body language. Children can be like sponges when it comes to stress. If something doesn’t go according to plan, don’t panic. Come up with a new plan and if possible include their ideas and suggestions.
Try using humor instead of getting upset. Laugh it off or make a joke about it and move on.
Take the time to answer their questions. It’s easier to reply, “not now” but it helps them grow and learn if you can explain things to them.
Teach your children important problem solving skills. What is making them upset? What can we do to fix it? Did that work? If not try something else. This will help them turn their stress into empowerment and independence.
Thanks to Scott Michaluk from Fort Garry Child Care Co-Op Inc for sharing his ideas with Together Families.