Helping our Children handle stress

help kids handle stress- Parenting resources by ZenParent

Today’s kids are exposed to a lot of stress.  Bullying has always been one. But today, cyber bullying adds a twist to the tale. Homework, tests, grades, school bullies, teasing, gossiping and even friends and family members can cause stress in children according to one study.While we cannot eliminate the source of stress, we can help our children cope with these stressors.

Interestingly, the survey also showed that 75% of children felt that parents can solve many of their problems and that, what they want most when they are stressed is parental support. This is an eye opener for parents who are sometimes unsure whether their children need them in these situations and whether they can help at all.

But interestingly while the children SAID that they think their parents can solve their problems, how they actually sought relief from it was in the following ways:

Playing52%
Listening to Music44%
Watch TV or play a video game42%
Talk to a friend30%
Ignore it29%
Try to solve the problem28%
Eat26%
Get Angry23%
Talk to a parent22%
Cry11%

Paradoxically, even though speaking to parents was considered effective to solve their problems, children actually chose many other means over speaking to parents. This indicates that communication channels need to be improved between parents and children for kids to feel secure enough to open up to them.

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How can you be more connected with your child?

  1. Tune in to your child’s emotions: Do they look sad? Aloof? Grumpy?  Learn to detach from your mental preoccupations and be more aware of your child.
  2. Use Empathy instead of Sympathy: It is easy for us to pity the kid but what they want from parents is understanding. They want you to get them. Try and walk in their shoes instead of lecturing them on the right thing to do.
  3. Don’t Rush to Rescue: While, it is good to help our child when they are stressed, also give them time to process it themselves first. Children also emotionally grow with each of these challenges in life.
  4. Help your child be aware: Sometimes children are angry and confused at how they are feeling. Parents can help their children become aware of their feelings by labeling their emotions. For e.g.:I understand how frustrated you are  I understand , how your friend must have hurt your feelings
  5. Help with Problem Solving: Finally, throw in your wisdom and help them solve their problems.

(Source : Huffington post)

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