April is Stress Awareness Month
Helping Parents and Kids Deal with Stress
Since April is Stress Awareness Month, here are some tips for those busy mothers, fathers and guardians out there. As a bonus, included are some ways to help your kids overcome their own stress too. Parents are selfless caregivers who work longer hours than many CEOs. First off, take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back. Then, check out these tips to help parents/guardians lower your daily stress levels:
- Take it easy on yourself. Nobody is a perfect parent or guardian. All we can do is try our best.
- Cherish and celebrate the bright spots in your day.
- Practice and soak in simple acts of kindness.
- Frame frustration as a problem to be solved.
- On difficult days, remind yourself of the traits you love about your child. Maybe even write a list.
- Remind yourself of fun, funny and silly times. Grown-ups don’t have to be serious 24/7.
- Allow yourself to feel what you feel. Don’t try to bury
any feelings or emotions.
- And finally, on difficult days, don’t take your child’s behavior personally. It’s rare they’re actually trying to stress you out or make you feel bad. Try to step into their shoes and look through their eyes.
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Help Your Child Deal with Stress
One of the hardest things as a parent or guardian is recognizing when your child is dealing with stress and knowing what you can do to help. Here are a few simple actions that go a long way:
- Always have your “antennae up” for emotional or behavioral cues. Try to notice when your child is feeling a certain way or doing a certain thing that might reveal they’re dealing with stress.
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- Especially watch for negative changes in behavior.
- Know that “feeling sick” may be caused by stress.
- Stay aware of how your child interacts with others, such as their friends, teachers, coaches and you.
- Truly listen to your child. Have open conversations. Ask how they’re feeling, if they need anything from you and if you can help them in any way.
- Don’t be afraid to seek support from others; lean on fellow parents, your kids’ doctor, their teachers and more.
This month and beyond, focus on self-love and remember the tips above. Your days might remain busy but you can tell stress and burnout to take a hike.
To access the full article on tips for stress relief for parents and kids, click here.