Much like adults, children can feel stressed and overwhelmed in certain situations. However, they tend to have a more difficult time understanding and learning to cope with anxiety.
Especially during these unprecedented times, it’s important for parents and caregivers to know the signs of stress and how to help a child deal with these emotions.
Consider the following 3 tips to help you get started.
1. Openly Communicate
As the parent, caregiver or teacher, you know a child’s personality well and should be able to recognize a sudden change. If you notice behavior has shifted, it’s important to start a conversation with the child.
Let him or her know you realize something is wrong and provide the opportunity to openly discuss what they are thinking. Be patient while these new emotions are worked through.
There may be times when a child’s stress levels cause a physical reaction. If a tantrum occurs, it’s important to take the pressure off and encourage more positive energy.
Develop techniques for when he or she feels a tantrum coming on, including deep breathing. Supportive comments to let them know you understand their stress can also be beneficial.
2. Normalize Stress
Always reassure the child that it’s normal to feel anxious or helpless from time to time. Label their emotions, whether the child is feeling anger, stress or fear, to help them recognize different reactions and remember how to work through these feelings in the future.
Let your child know when you experience similar emotions. This can help them feel less alone and opens the door to more successful conversations on the subject.
3. Start an Activity
After discussing the child’s internal emotions, suggest a stress-relieving activity. What each child will respond to varies, so choose something you know the child will like. Examples include exercise, drawing or reading to help ease emotions and offer a distraction.
A positive, creative outlet to express oneself can be a useful way to cope with stress for both children and adults! The next time you both feel stress, find a common activity to enjoy.
For more tips on how to help your child deal with stress and other emotions, contact Carrier Academy of Learning today.