5 ways to help children reduce stress
Click each arrows below and learn more.
Get enough rest
- Children ages 4
through 6 years need about 10 to 12 hours of
- Children ages 7 through
12 years need about 10 to 11 hours of sleep.
- A week or two before school
begins, have your children go to bed at a set bedtime and wake- up at the
time they will need to wake for school.
- It is also helpful to get back
into the school routine a few days before children need to return from
Know what to expect in new situations
- Think about any experience that
makes your children worry and walk through the activity together.
- For example, if children are
uncomfortable about going to a friend’s birthday party, drive or walk to
the home ahead of time so the location is familiar, offer to take your
child’s friend to the party so your child knows someone as soon as
arriving at the party; practice things to say to the birthday child and
the parent (thank you for inviting me); talk about what to say if offered
food that isn’t wanted, etc.
- Let children know it is okay to
make mistakes and talk to them about how we can learn from mistakes. Let
them know they don’t need to be perfect, just do their best.
Avoid too many activities or responsibilities
- Have your children select the
one or few activities that are most enjoyable and important to them rather
than do as many as possible.
- Be sure you give children tasks
that they can do as their jobs and be sure you don’t give them tasks that
are adults should do (e.g., getting younger brothers and sisters ready for
Find healthy ways to deal with stress
- Getting rid of stress through
action (e.g., exercise, sports) can help some children. Others may need to
find a space to be alone and have some quiet time. Give your children some
time to ‘let off steam’ or ‘collect their thoughts’, and be sure you give
them time to talk to you so you can learn what is bothering them.
- Teach them calming breathing
techniques and remember to use them yourself.
- Be a good example of how to
deal with stress. Be sure to avoid reacting in an angry manner when you
have had a "bad day."
- It can be difficult when
children worry about things you feel may not be a problem. But be sure
your children know you will support them and help find ways to "get