Has your child become more prone to temper tantrums lately? Are they having difficulty falling asleep at night? Have you noticed a sudden downward spiral in their grades? If your kid is exhibiting any of these symptoms, chances are they’re experiencing stress and struggling to cope.
That’s right! Stress isn’t just inevitable for adults. Even young kids and teens have to regularly grapple with stressful situations. Homework, tests, class presentations, grades – this is just a glimpse of the numerous reasons that might cause your child to feel stressed. The increased use of social media can further intensify their stress levels.
Stress is also induced by major life events and transitions, such as changing schools, shifting to a new neighborhood, or dealing with their parents’ divorce. On top of that, bullying and peer pressure in school can further aggravate the problem and cause your child to have negative thoughts and emotions.
A study by the American Psychology Association found that 30% of teenagers feel overwhelmed, depressed, or sad because of stress. Chronic stress and anxiety can also take a toll on your child’s health and academic performance. In extreme cases, this can exacerbate feelings of uselessness and result in depression.
As a parent, it’s up to you to identify the symptoms of stress in your kid and help them deal with it in the right manner. It’s also important for you to provide them with emotional support while they’re going through a stressful phase. Just being around and listening to their fears can be all a child needs to feel protected and relaxed.
In this blog, we’ll explore a few effective stress management techniques to help your child. Let’s get started.
1. Watch Out for the Signs
The first step is to acknowledge the fact that your child might be under stress and keep an eye out for any obvious indicators. Typical symptoms of stress in children include mood swings, behavioral changes, and sleep disorders. They can become more irritable and angry or just retreat unto themselves.
Likewise, if your child frequently complains of stomach pain or headaches in the morning, chances are they’re stressed about going to school. Other subtle signs of stress include poor concentration and attention span. If these symptoms persist over a long period, it could indicate chronic levels of stress.
2. Stop Overscheduling
No. Your child doesn’t need to play the piano just because all their friends are doing it. Today’s parents feel the increasing need to keep their kids busy with a plethora of extra-curricular activities. While this can help inculcate a wide range of skills, the downside is that makes your child’s schedule extremely hectic.
It’s a good idea to review your kid’s routine and check whether they’ve got enough free time throughout the week. The key is to provide them with a few hours every day to just sit back and relax or pursue a hobby they’re passionate about.
Skipping a few swimming or ballet lessons may not be such a bad idea if it gives your kid the time to catch a breath.
3. Use a Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets have emerged as an effective natural therapy for sleep disorders in adults. They’re just as useful for kids too. Filled with glass beads or poly pellets, weighted blankets create a sense of emotional security by simulating the effect of a hug.
Also, these blankets facilitate the release of dopamine and serotonin, thus helping relax the body and brain. They’re particularly effective if your child has trouble sleeping or suffering from sensory processing disorders. They can offer immediate relief from typical symptoms of stress, such as faster breathing and an increased heart rate.
If you’ve been looking for weighted blankets for your child or teen, the wide range of Hush kids blankets is a good choice. The blankets come in different weights and sizes and even come with a detachable soft cotton cover.
It is, however, a good idea to discuss with your child and find out whether they’d be comfortable using a weighted blanket. Also, if your child experiences development delay or mobility issues consider whether they’ll be able to move and turn under the weight of the blanket.
4. Encourage the Right Eating Habits
It’s a natural human tendency to gravitate towards junk, processed, and sugary foods to cope with stressful situations. As a parent, you’re already aware of the harmful effects of junk food on kids.
That’s why it is a good idea to watch your child’s diet and encourage them to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. You should also provide them with stress-busting foods, such as nuts, seeds, and fish. Don’t withhold the occasional indulgence on a big bar of chocolate or a tubful of ice cream though.
5. Set the Right Example
Ultimately, your child’s stress management habits are going to be influenced by the way you deal with stress and anxiety in your life. From meditation and breathing exercises to anger management and therapy – make sure you implement the right techniques to cope with stress in your life. It can go a long way to inspire your child to use the same approach.
Have you devised a plan of action to help your kid manage stress and anxiety? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.