Help your child fight his little stress monster!
Yes, you read it right! Neither this is a typo nor are we ‘kidding’. Stress does ensue in kids as well. In our complex modern society, when the world has virtually shrunk within the pages of Facebook and other social media, children have their own reasons to worry about, not one, not two but numerous.
Though all children experience some amount of stress, adults ordinarily fail to recognize the incidence and magnitude of stress in their lives. Moreover, young children may experience stress from numerous factors such as disrupted homes, excessive screen time, being over-scheduled, physical appearance, failing an exam, judgement by peers or any other situation that threatens self-esteem.
So rather than becoming all preachy and getting into the ‘why’s and how’s; let’s get to the point. Read on to pick tips on how to relieve your kids from the stressed conditions.
Talk and listen: Communication with your child is THE most important thing that a parent needs to do all the time. Talking in itself is a great stress reliever; the letting out emotions brings down the stress level fast. And by “talking” we are not advocating discussions on project reports, upcoming tests or grades. Listen to your child’s views about his favorite super hero or ask your daughter what’s her idea of a perfect day spent.
Relax to unwind: Switch off the TV and shut down that computer. Go out and sit together, as close as you can get to nature. An open terrace or a cozy balcony, anywhere with a lot of fresh air, is a perfect alcove to be in when you see their muscles flexing out of stress.
A surprise snack: A yummy bread pizza or a small chocolate brownie suddenly out of nowhere is a sure shot recipe to perk that little face instantly. Colorful food always makes kids feel happy, so cash on it.
Let the creative juices flow: After finishing a hectic project, encourage your children to draw or paint a little. Writing, coloring music, or doing anything of sorts will make them happy from within. Enthuse them to pursue their hobbies.
Hug, kiss, and hold hands: Physical touch gives the child immense sense of security. An unintentional ruffle of hair or a pat on back makes them feel loved and liked, which is sometimes just enough a gesture to ease their stress.
Get out: Literally!! At times just getting out of the same usual surroundings takes the pressure off. Take them for a drive or just walk in the nearby garden and while coming back stop at the ice-cream parlour. The whole little outing will do it for them.
Play till they get dirty: Playing in mud, sand or water is in the “wish-list” of every child. Don’t restrict and let them be there till they are tired. Stress is best taken out with lots of physical exercise and for children, playing do the trick.
Zzzzzzzzz: Making them sleep enough is extremely important. Lack of sleep will make them grumpy throughout the day and stress will find its way if they fail to do well at school or other activities. Every child should have a minimum of nine hours of undisturbed sleep. “Early to bed, early to rise” should be there mantra.
You don’t stress, they won’t too: Children get scared seeing their parents upset. Never ever fight or argue in front of them. Resolve your issues behind closed doors and come out smiling. Tension in family leaves a very bad physiological impact on the child’s mind. Even if adults have their own set of problems, in front of the kids act your age and behave sensibly.
Give some “down time”: Allot a free play or down time by the end of the day. Not necessarily they have to do anything; sitting alone in their room, lying on floor, or simply doing nothing is also as important as doing something all the time.
Stress for anyone is not healthy and in kids, it is all the more harmful considering their still developing little brains. Stress in children for a longer duration can result in anxiety and even depression. Being a responsible parent that you are to try and give your child a stress-free and healthy environment back home.
Let your kids bloom like a flower, not wither or wilt under stress.