4 ways to help your child deal with stress
Seeing your child stressed out is no fun. Having to deal with their crying spells, irregular eating and sleeping and lack of concentration on school assignments can put a damper on anyone’s family. Children are facing more stress than ever. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help your stressed out child.
1. Take a look at yourself and family dynamics. Are you taking care of you? Is there conflict at home and is your child present for that? Children absorb family conflict and, even worse, blame themselves for things that have nothing to do with them. Be mindful of your child’s presence if you and your significant other are arguing, and try to resolve the conflict when not in presence of your children. Yes, children, work, the house, and the bills are time and energy consuming. But if you don’t take care of yourself, how much of the good, happy side of you can you really offer to those you care about the most?
2. Take a look at your schedule. Does your family have any down time? Do your kids? How many activities, sports, play dates, tutoring are they attending to weekly? Kids need down time to replenish their energy, to learn to be bored, and to deal with boredom by finding entertainment on their own. Having some down time makes things feel less rushed, and both you and your child can enjoy the daily activities more. You can control time and how much of it there is in your family life.
3. Screen time. Limit screen time. You know when your child is watching a TV show or playing a video game, they are sucked into a vortex, and nothing and no one exists in that moment. By limiting screen time — be it tablets, TV, or videogames — you are allowing your child to enhance his or her imagination and all of the wonderful things that can come out of imaginative play.
4. Consult with a mental health professional. Psychologists and mental health therapists can help your child cope with stress and help you, as a parent, understand and model a more positive lifestyle.
You can do it. You, your child, and the whole family will thank you for making these changes. A stressed out child is no fun for anyone. But a stressed out child is a major red flag that indicates you should make positive changes. Children are resilient and can change as long as they have a supportive network of parents and other caregivers by their sides, making the changes along with them.