Parents aren't the only ones who feel stress. Kids are subject to stress, too, although the causes are likely different. Your child might experience stress if he overhears the nightly news, his schedule is too busy, he is struggling in school or has a new sibling. Parental stress can also rub off on kids. Stress can affect your child's emotions, schoolwork and mental health and can interfere with his quality of life. Helping him engage in stress-relieving activities can help.
Some kids have a hard time slowing down as they bounce from school to sports practice to art class to play dates. This can translate into feelings of stress. Working quiet times into your child's day can help her relax, notes the San Francisco Unified School District. Find a comfortable place in your home without outside noise where your child can sit. This might be her bedroom or a corner of the dining room. Help your child sit and breathe deeply for several minutes at a time. She can also tighten the muscles in her body, then relax them, working from her toes to her head. Have your child sit quietly and meditate by clearing her mind and focusing on her breathing, repeating a calming phrase or imagining a calm, peaceful place.
Creating something by doing arts and crafts is a simple and enjoyable way for kids to relax and ease the stress of the day, according to the Huffington Post. Lay out markers, crayons, paints, paper scraps, bits of fabric, glitter, sequins, clay, glue, tape and stickers and let your child engage in free art time. Focusing on his masterpiece helps clear his mind and gives him something fun about which to think. By engaging in a hobby, your child is able to let off steam and express himself. It also gives him something to look forward to in an otherwise stressful day. Scrapbooking, sculpting and sewing are other activities that can ease tension and relieve stress.
Getting up and moving around gives your child an outlet for her stress, while also giving her a chance to get some exercise. Let your child blow bubbles, an activity that supports measured breathing, slows your child's heart rate and decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol, according to clinical psychologist, Jane Blackwell on the Parenting magazine website. Playing ball or charades are other effective physical activities, adds the San Francisco Unified School District. Taking a walk around the block, jumping rope or going for a bike ride are also kid-friendly stress relievers.
Listening to music is an ideal way to help your child reduce stress because it gives kids an escape, according to child psychologist Paul J. Donahue on the Parenting magazine website. Sitting in a relaxed position and enjoying her favorite tunes allows your child to unwind and let go of stress. It also works for kids who prefer to move around because dancing while listening to music is an ideal way to de-stress. Snuggling with your child and talking through her day or sitting close to one another as you draw or paint are other activities that can help her reduce stress.