Children can develop high levels of stress and anxiety just like adults. We’re often tempted to downplay that fact.
We hear things like, “children are resilient” or “they’ll get through it all right.”
But the truth is that children are too often exposed to stressful life situations with few resources to help them.
Are you concerned about the stress and anxiety level of your child? Here are some ideas about how to lessen the problem.
Remember They Can’t Handle as Much
Children can’t handle demands on their physical bodies like adults can. Adults can be out in the sun and cold much longer without becoming stressed.
The same goes for emotional strength. Kids need time to grow into these abilities. Things that you don’t find stressful at all could be very difficult for your child to deal with.
Learn to Notice Stress in Your Child
Adults tend to let others know when they experience too much stress and anxiety. Children usually don’t know how to express things so clearly when they’re in similar situations.
Look for physical or emotional changes in your child to help you see if they’re struggling with too much stress and anxiety.
Is your child wetting their bed, fatigued, angry or more emotional than usual?
These could all be indicators that your child is struggling to handle stress and anxiety.
If your child is old enough, ask them about how they’re feeling. If possible, try to find the causes of your child’s stress so you can come up with a plan to lessen it.
Create a Positive, Accepting Environment
There are enough causes of stress and anxiety in the world. Do your best to make sure that your family environment doesn’t add to the problem.
Was your childhood full of anger, negativity or abuse? If so, you experienced more stress than you should have.
Your family doesn’t need to be like the family you grew up in. Do all you can to create a healthy, nurturing and positive environment for your child.
This means that when you give consequences to your child for bad behavior, it should be done with controlled emotions.
It also means that you work hard to provide a happy environment. Do your best to smile often and compliment your child. This will help immensely with any other difficulties in your child’s life that can’t be avoided.
Another part of a positive environment is modeling for your child how to deal with stress in a healthy way.
Keep Your Child Active and Healthy
Obesity in children is on the rise. And it affects more than just your child’s body. It also affects their emotional state.
Teach your child to regularly eat healthily and exercise.
Feed your child plenty of fruits and vegetables and teach them the proper amount of food to eat. This is a great stress and anxiety reducing technique you can work at together.
You also can exercise together, getting rid of anxiety that’s been lurking in the back of your minds.
Looking for something else to help your child?
Teach your child to practice deep-breathing techniques, listen to soothing music or watch calming nature videos online.
Also, don’t rule out counseling to help your child through a tough time. If you feel that your child has been through way too much stress and anxiety for his or her age, seriously consider that option.
By working with your child and others, you can help your child reduce their anxiety and stress which will result in a happier, healthier life. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 393-8662, or text us.