Sometimes we need to take a time out… and sometimes, so do our kids.
Helping Kids De-stress is important. As my kids get older, I’m noticing a lot more stress than I anticipated. What’s unnerving me the most is that the stress isn’t mine – it’s theirs.
For all of our technological advances and ability to connect to anyone at any time, there’s a very real danger of placing too much stress on our children.
Those feelings of stress and anxiety come from school work, testing, and social pressures – things that are usually not in our control. As a parent, that’s scary. I’ve been studying a lot of different ways to help kids de-stress and thought I’d share some with you. They may seem basic, but in this fast-paced world that we’re living in, they’re really not common at all anymore. I hope they help you!
Tips for Helping Kids De-stress
Vitamin D is not only needed by the body, it’s needed by the soul. Sunshine can change your mood for the better and help put things in perspective. With so many activities and lessons being online, getting outside for some much needed fresh air is key. It could be something as simple as swinging in the hammock, or more planned out like a hike in the woods. When you’re engaged in activities outdoors, the stresses of everyday life seems to lessen.
Talk It Out
You don’t have to be a therapist to talk with your child about the things that are causing him stress. A simple chat while taking a walk or snuggling together on the sofa can help kids de-stress. It can be scary to talk about the things that are bothering you and, as a child, it can be even scarier, because you don’t have the life experience to know that things will work themselves out. As a parent, it can be scary to ask, because sometimes you’re not sure what to say or how to help.
Thankfully, sometimes all that kids need is someone to just listen to them. However, if your child does have concerns that are bigger than you can handle, finding them a therapist who can help them learn skills to navigate the world of stresses is entirely okay.
Social media and websites are a terrific thing, but they can also leave kids with unrealistic expectations of what life should be or is like. As kids are developing their sense of the world, it’s important to make sure they understand that not everything they see, not everything that’s posted, is an accurate depiction of what’s actually occurring.
It can be stressful and detrimental to their outlook on life. So, make sure that they take time each week to unplug. Have an Internet-free day once a week where the whole family unplugs. It’s not only good for your energy bill, it’s good for your soul. You can even try this electronic-free week or this no-screentime until printable.
Exercise is one of the most underutilized stress relievers out there. A good cardio session can help eliminate feelings of negativity and pent up stress in as little as 15-minutes. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals that make you feel, well, happy. For kids, this means that playing and exercising are natural ways to help control the stresses that they encounter daily.
From walking around the block to riding bikes to playing Frisbee with the dog in the backyard, when you move, you feel better. And when you feel better, you’re less stressed.
Kids need time to reconnect with the family in ways that build memories. While watching movies is always fun, playing a board game or doing an activity together are equally as important. It’s easier to cope with stress when you know that you have a strong support system behind you. For kids, that strong support system begins at home with the family.
If you suspect that your child needs help, please don’t hesitate to get it for them. There is nothing wrong with having them talk with a therapist or counselor who is trained to help them navigate the stresses that are a bit too big. Above all, love your kids and let them know you love them. Support them, encourage them to talk, and get them moving. You can help them combat the stress in their lives. Join us on our Facebook page for more parenting advice!