Children and stress seems to be the topic on everyone’s lips at the moment. The Government is concerned about the rise in childhood anxiety and stress and it is important to teach stress management to our kids. As adults, we are more able to adapt to stressful situations, but children need to learn these tools from a young age.
Here are 10 simple activities that you can easily incorporate into your routine, to help teach your child to manage their stress. Even if your child is not displaying any apparent signs of stress, these techniques and suggestions can also be adopted as preventative measures:
1 Teach them to breathe. Encourage deep breathing – in through the nose and out slowly through the mouth. There are plenty of breathing exercises in Relax and De-stress CD
2 Give them a massage. Massage your child’s temples, hands, feet, back or shoulders. Try this before bed or while watching TV.
3 Go for a walk. When your child is feeling stressed, take 10 minutes out and go for a walk around the park or even around the block. Walking in the wind and rain really can de-stress and energise kids!
4 Get arty. Have a box full of relaxing activities at the ready, such as colouring sets, modelling clay and craft kids to help take your child’s mind off whatever is bothering them.
5 Chill out. Try to create a ‘Chill Out’ space at home and encourage your child to visit this place daily or whenever they’re feeling stressed or anxious. You may like to listen to a Relax Kids CD such as HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY? or the NATURE CD.
6 Writing. If your child is older, they may like to write their thoughts and feelings down. Encourage them to write something every day and let out all their internalised stress in the page. If there is something particular bothering them, they could write down what it is, and then scrunch up the paper and throw it away in the bin!
7 Affirming. By repeating the words “I am Calm”, “I am Peaceful’, “I am Quiet”, “I am serene” will enable your child to find themselves in a more restful mindset. Star Cards are great for affirming children’s positive qualities. You might like to try BELIEVE AND ACHIEVE CD which is full of positive affirmations.
8 Eating. Make sure your child gets plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and reduce their intake of processed food. This will ensure that their bodies are packed with all the necessary nutrients needed to stay balanced.
9 Drinking. Make sure your child is always well-hydrated with plenty of water and fresh juices. Avoid sugary drinks or drinks with artificial flavours which can make children out of balance and hyperactive.
10 Listening. Calming music can have a positive effect on children, as it stimulates the Alpha brainwaves. At the end of the day, try to play some classical or relaxation music to help children wind down. You could try reading a book such as ALADDIN'S MAGIC CARPET for some added calm before bedtime.
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