Children are vulnerable to stress. Thirteen out of 100 children experience some kind of anxiety disorder. Make sure that you offer your children the tools they need to maintain emotional balance. Fill your child’s emotional backpack with answers for stress management and relaxation.
Be aware that change, be it positive or negative, creates stress for most kids.
Make time to relax and schedule downtime for your children. Do not over-schedule.
Show your child how to maintain a positive outlook, stop the chatter and lists in their heads, and take their mind off of their worries.
Use affirmations or positive statements to counteract kids’ stress. Teach your children to take a break and say, “I am calm. I am relaxed. I am peaceful. I am happy. I am safe.”
Create visualizations – imagining can be both fun and effective. Create a happy thought that children can “go to” when stressed or worried.
Taking slow deep breaths can help lower a child’s anxiety and anger. All children can benefit from this important powerful stress and anger management technique. Children with special needs; Autism, Aspergers, ADHD, SPD, PTSD can learn to bring their energy level down a notch and feel in charge of themselves.
Children in military families are exposed to stress levels that could be considered toxic according to The American Academy of Pediatrics. The National Center for Child Traumatic Stress notes that, “Military children experience unique challenges related to military life and culture. These include deployment-related stressors and reintegration.” Military children, teens, and spouses live with the constant fear of losing a parent, parental separation, moving and making new friends, all while living in a household with one often overloaded parent holding down the fort.
Teenagers experience stress every day and can benefit from learning stress management skills. School demands and social relationships are UNLIKE anything we as parents have ever imagined. Technology, blurred boundaries, academic expectations, and the daily bombardment of hypersexualized media are just some of the stressors facing teens today.
Most teens do not have the skills needed to cope with teen anxiety and these stressors. Unchecked stress can lead to anxiety, depression, aggression, physical illness, and drug and/or alcohol use. The Partnership for a Drug Free America states that 73% of teenagers reported that school stress was the primary reason for drug use.