I recently watched another one of Annie Fox’s family confidential podcasts. This one featured Lori Lite and was focused on stress. I was drawn to this one because this is a particularly stressful time of year, and I thought it would be a good topic to address as the holiday season gets underway. Here are my takeaways:
Acknowledge that stress does exist for kids - People didn’t always believe that stress affected kids, but it definitely does. The first step to helping your kids manage is to acknowledge that this stress does in fact exist
Keep your own stress and anxiety in check - be careful about what you talk about within earshot of the kids and model positive ways of managing stress. Kids model what they see. Show them how you manage your stress in a healthy way; they’ll want to copy what you do.
If your child is struggling with the social aspects of school (a major source of anxiety and stress for kids), there are things you can do to help...
- Send them to social skills classes - there are great places where the main focus is on improving your child’s social skills and interactions with others.
- At home, role play situations with your child. If there was an experience that was tough for your child, take some time later and role play different things they could say or do next time they are faced with a similar situation
- Teach your kids to relax. Practice “before the storm” so they can utilize the skill when they are having a stressful moment in school.
Lori has written a book to help walk kids through progressive muscle relaxation called the Angry Octopus. When she mentioned it, I decided to buy it because I’m always looking for more books to read to my kids to help them manage their big feelings, especially mad feelings.
I downloaded it and read it to my kids. They really enjoyed it. My son wanted to know more about the octopus and his mad feelings. My daughter actually started doing the relaxation techniques as we were reading, so that was perfect. I’d definitely recommend the book, it’s a great way to walk through progressive muscle relaxation.
What are the ways that you and your family deal with stress?
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This post is linked on Mama Reads Monday