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Stress Management for Children

The new school term can be a very exciting – and stressful time – for parents and carers.  If your child is stressed, the very best way to help them is for you to work on any stress you have too – and help them take the new school term in their stride.

New research from The Parent Coaching Academy and Buckingham University reveals that 9/10 children say they feel stressed often or very often (1,000 children 9-11 year-olds, 2019).  They also believe that parents handle stress worse than teachers, children themselves – and even Alexa, a virtual assistant developed by Amazon!  Children today are more anxious than ever before with demands in the classroom, in the playground, friendship issues, online and parental pressures identified as the main reasons for feeling stressed.

As well as mums and dads struggling to manage their own stress, the children also said that their parents’ worst habits were not listening when they said they were and expecting children to limit their screen time, but not doing it themselves.

There are always things that happen outside our control, but we always have choices.  As a parent, you are your child’s most powerful role model and by working on how your whole family team manages stress, you will help them turn that stress into fuel.

Try these 7 good habits of great parents and carers to help your family create good stress-management habits.  

1. Create healthy habits to manage stress in 7 days – Confidently, Calmly and Consistently.  Take the dog for a walk or book into a gym class instead of reaching for a glass of wine.

2. Practise 90-second ‘stress-busters’.  Choose to focus on a positive mindset with an ‘I can’ rather than ‘I can’t’ attitude, move or do a physical activity, practise being in the moment – daily (check in with all of your senses)

3. Model great stress management with practical A … B … C.  and encourage children to do the same.  A … Accept how you feel B … Breathe deeply and focus on your breathing  C …Choose how you want to respond with an action inside your control.

4. Focus on actions inside your control and accept there are always some things in life that you cannot change.

5. Help your children cope with difficult emotions. Engage (connect with them), Explore (how they are feeling – name it and tame it) and Empower (share practical tools inside their control that will help them and involve them in choices)

6. Use evidence-based feedback when managing stress and other challenging emotionsPNG image

7. Be 100% at key times and an active listener.

Written by Lorraine Thomas, Parent Coach at the Vale Practice

Lorraine Thomas, Chief Executive of The Parent Coaching Academy (www.theparentcoachingacademy.com), International Speaker and Author of ‘Super Coach Arty vs The Shadow – Stress Mangement Tips for Children,  ‘Brilliantly Behaved Toddler’, ‘The Mummy Coach’ , ‘Get A Life’ and ‘The 7-Day Parent Coach’

 

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