How to Relieve Stress in Children
Most parents believe that children have it easy. They do not have to work, pay bills, or have significant responsibilities. However, this is misconception that has plagued society for many generations. Despite the majority opinion of adults, children can become distressed and overwhelmed. This is why self care for kids is so important.
As your child matures, so does their mind. You want them to learn how to manage stress in a healthy manner early on. It is important that you teach your child how to deal with stress and that they have your support. Being able to create a comfort zone for your child strengthens your bond and give you some comfort knowing that your child will come to you when they have an issue.
This post is about self care for kids.
Teaching your child self care can be a little intimidating if you have no idea where to start. These tips will help you teach your child why mental health is so important without causing any additional stress. Stress Management and self care should be taught at an early age so your child can build on those healthy habits. Here are some topics to discuss with your child when teaching them about self care.
1. Do not Focus on Perfection
Letting your child know that it is okay to make mistakes will help alleviate some stress as they grow. It is important to set expectations for your children, however, they should be realistic. Keep in mind that your child is still learning and there will be mistakes. Inform your child it is okay to make mistakes, but they must learn to take some responsibility for them depending on their age group. It is very important to let them know that mistakes are learning opportunities and does not define who they are.Giving them your support will help them to learn from their mistakes and decreases the chances of them making the same one again.
2. Don’t Compare
Social media has allowed us to share our lives and keep friends and family updated. However, it has also created competition amongst us. Everyone seems to be living a lavish life with an extensive wardrobe and expensive cars. The biggest issue with social media is that it has created a stigma with natural bodies. It seems like everyone has the perfect body and shape. If you allow your child to use social media, let them know not to compare themselves to what they see without being bashful. Many mental illness can occur from insecurities from social media such as depression and eating disorders. Teaching your child how to distinguish reality from a façade will reduce the chances of them comparing their selves to others.
3. Take a Break
Being a child, adolescent, or teenager is difficult. Teach your child how to slow down and take breaks when needed. Home life, school, and extracurricular activities can cause major stress. If you sense that your child is feeling overwhelmed, help them through the situation. Help them with their work load by helping complete homework, practice, or reduce their responsibilities at home.
This is especially important for teenagers. With trying to maintain themselves academically and socially, they are more prone to burn outs. Teach your child how to take breaks. They can do this by limiting their technology use, taking a walk, watching a movie, or just hanging out with friends. Giving your child time to take a breather will help them excel in their ambitions and maintaining their self care.
Here are some activities that can help alleviate stress in children.
- Playing outside
- Taking a nap
- Spending quality time with family
- Taking a break from social media/ technology
- Arts and crafts
- Starting a new hobby
- Doing breathing exercises
- Having a healthy meal
4. Communication is Important
Growing up, there are so many things that a child will experience for the first time. There will also be things that may cause confusion for them. In other instances, a child may be embarrassed or scared to talk about what is bothering them. Thats why it is important for you and your child to have great communication. No matter what issue they are having, your child should be able to come to you with their problem or issue without judgment or retaliation.
When a child has a safe haven, they are more comfortable being vulnerable and exposing what problems they may have. Being able to tell you about their issues improve self care because they are not carrying around that burden by themselves. As their parent, help your child resolve their issue and give them the love and compassion they need to overcome any obstacle.
Encouragement is extremely important when teaching self care for kids. Everyone feels a little insecure at times. However, with children this can occur more often than not. Whether they are trying out for a sports team or have a major test coming up, show them that you believe in them even when they don’t believe in themselves. Praise them and highlight their attributes. Another form of encouragement is teaching your child how to be proud of themselves.
When they become proud of themselves for succeeding or even trying, they are not relying on someone else to make them feel accomplished or valued. Being proud of yourself means that you are able to recognize the hard work and sacrifice without someone else being the source of the recognition. Showing your child how to be confident boosts their self esteem and their self care for their mental health.
6. Teach Them How to Respect Themselves & Others
Self respect is a key factor in promoting self care for children. Self respect ties into encouragement. It’s having respect, confidence, and operating with dignity and pride. You should also teach your child about others respecting their boundaries. If your child is uncomfortable about an activity or person, respect their boundaries they have set. Sending your child into a situation that can cause major stress will be detrimental to them and will cause them to ostracize you. It’s crucial to get to the root reason why your child is uncomfortable in a situation or around certain people.
It is also important that your child knows the importance of respecting other people’s boundaries as well. Not doing so can lead to your child being the aggressor. Bullying is never okay under no circumstances. Teach your child how to stand up for themselves without intimidation and causing distress of others. Having respect for themselves and others promotes a healthy environment for your child and for others children.
7. Acknowledge Their Feelings and Concerns
When you are acknowledging your child, it lets them know that you understand their feelings and concerns and they are not going unnoticed. One of the worse things that you can do is make decisions without thinking about how it will affect your child. With every decision that you make, you should ask your yourself,”Is this going to hurt my child in any form or fashion?” If a major life event take place such as death, marriage, or birth of another child, you should make sure that you are being considerate of your child’s thoughts and feelings.
Not being able to be acknowledge by your own parent can be life altering and change their outlook on life. If your child is feeling uneasy about something, talk to them about it. Highlight the benefits of your decisions and why you made them. If your child is still upset, give them the support they need to get through the situation. You do not want to ignore their concerns and then it becomes a bigger issue later.
8. Maintain Good Hygiene & Healthy Habits
A pillar for self care for kids is maintaining good hygiene and healthy habits. Teach your child the importance of taking themselves and having a regiment. Every morning your child should comb their hair, brush their teeth, and wash their face. They should also shower or bath regularly.The same should be done at bedtime. With smaller children it might be difficult to get them in the groove of things. Try making their morning and nightly routine fun for them by making it more entertaining.
With some teenagers, it can also be difficult for them to want to maintain their physical self care. If your teenagers is not showering, brushing their teeth, etc., let them know the importance of doing so. Let them know that their body is sacred and that they should take care of and respect it.
If they still don’t comply, inform them of their consequences such as restricting their technology use, hanging out with their friends, or a reduction in their allowance. When teaching self care for kids, it’s important to let them know that both their physical and mental health are equally important. Teaching your child how to maintain their physical and mental self care will be building blocks that they will use for the rest of their lives.