2/3 of parents don’t think their stress affects their children, however tweens and teens report being affected by their parents stress
Children model their parents behavior
Parents who deal with stress in an unhealthy way are teaching their children to deal with stress in an unhealthy way
How do you respond to stress? Is it healthy or unhealthy?
Getting enough sleep, the recommended amount of exercise and eating healthy are great ways to reduce stress
Develop a support network
Talk to your children about their stress
Make time for fun with your family
Take a mental vacation- relax your muscles and take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes and imagine you are someplace you enjoy. Allow yourself 10-15 minutes for this.
Listen to music, find a hobby you enjoy doing, and avoid too much caffeine or alcohol
You are more likely to experience success if you change one behavior at a time
We should teach and model healthy coping strategies, but most young children can’t cope with stress on their own very well.
Parents have the ability to help their children with simple day-to-day tools
Connection: when children have secure relationships with their parents, they know that someone will be there to help them deal with their problems. Strong relationships also help children to trust and listen to the adult who is supporting them.
It is important that children know how to talk about these feelings
Research shows that when people talk about feelings, the thinking part of the brain is stimulated and the “acting out” part of the brain becomes less active
Instructions: For a group of younger children you might want to demonstrate each step for them of identify the different body parts so they understand the instructions. Get into a comfortable position either sitting up or laying down. You may close your eyes and turn off the lights as well.