In our last blog post, we discussed how to determine if your child is stressed. Today we would like to highlight the 5 steps that Pediatrician Michelle L. Bailey has outlined to help empower children dealing with stress.
1. Normalize stress - It is important to let your child know that stress is a normal part of life, and that they are not abnormal for feeling the way they do
2. Remember that stress is one-sided - In other words, stress is relative. Children will deal with stress differently in varying situations so what may be stressful for one child may not be stressful for another.
3. Discuss healthy ways of dealing with stress - Teaching your child ways to deal with stress will not only benefit them in the short run, but will give them coping techniques that they can reference throughout their life. Physical activity, breathing techniques, and relaxation strategies are all great ways to do so.
4. Use effective strategies yourself - Be a role model for how to deal with stress and show your child that it can be done.
5. Limit screen time - The internet, TV and cell phones can supply information that leads to stress for your child. Baily recommends limiting screen time to 1-2 hours per day.
By using these 5 techniques, you will not only be helping your child deal with their current stress, but also teaching them techniques that they can use as they grow older. Stress can be felt at any age so it is important to both acknowledge it and deal with it effectively.
Tartakovsky, M. (2012). Signs Your Child is Stressed & 5 Ways to Help. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 10, 2012, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/06/06/signs-your-child-is-stressed-5-ways-to-help/