Kids get stressed out too! It’s important to recognise when your child may be stressed, and how to help them destress and relax. We’ve outlined key pointers to help your child deal with stress.
Don’t overbook or overschedule
We know one of the biggest stressors for kids is being overbooked. While kids love to be active, they also need downtime. Typically, kids are expected to be attentive and perform in school for 7 hours, excel at extracurricular activities, come home, finish homework and go to bed just to do it all over again the next day!
Kids need downtime to rejuvenate. Their brains and bodies need to rest. As kids are still growing and learning, they may not even realise this by themselves. As a parent, it’s important to spot when your child is overscheduled.
Make time to play
There are many ways we teach children how to play functionally with a certain therapy goal in mind. However, children also require time to pay without any pressure. This means with no lesson, competition or end goal. Younger kids will do this naturally, yet older kids may forget how to simply play. A good idea for your child’s wellbeing is to combine play with physical activity. This could include:
- riding your bikes
- throwing around a ball
Teach kids to listen to their bodies
Teach your child to understand their bodies and physiological responses to stress. Encourage them to listen to what their body is saying. Signs there may be too much going on include an upset stomach or waking up repeatedly with a headache.
Manage your own stress
Stress can be contagious. If you as the parent are feeling consistently stressed out, your child will be stressed too. It’s important your child can see that you slow down, take time to destress and relax. They will learn from your methods to destress, and the importance of taking time out.
Prepare your kids to deal with mistakes
For children, a big stressor can come from the fear of making a mistake. Remind your child that making mistakes are steps in learning, and explain it is always ok to ask for help. While it is important to encourage your children to make good decisions, there are also lessons learnt when they make a bad decision. Use those times to help teach your child what good and bad decisions look like. In times of trouble, help your child fix the problem, learn from the lesson, and move on. It is important your child knows mistakes are a part of learning.