The Challenge of Childhood Stress: How to Help Kids Handle Their Stress

Kids today hardly have the childhood that their parents enjoyed. Not only do children need to keep up with multiple afterschool activities so as to not fall behind, the pressure of getting into a prestigious college starts right from middle school. The trouble is, children are even less well-equipped to handle stress than grown-ups, and it can begin to show on their physical and mental health. A child with burnout at 10 is a sad thing to see.

Certainly, you should look into helping your child live the life of the child, turning the dial down on unnecessary activities and school work where you can. It’s important to make sure that your child’s everyday routine helps lower stress levels, as well, however.

Introduce your child to happy brain breaks

A change is as good as a rest. A brain break is a break away from scheduled study or activity. Not just any kind of break qualifies as a brain break, however. It needs to be mental activity, but one that takes the mind in a very different direction from routine activity. Such mental activity can be even more restful than actual rest.

It could be having fun with a music instrument, playing with an erector set or art therapy with some coloring activity. Coloring books are all the rage among adults in need of stress relief, and it can work with kids, as well. If your kid finds coloring books uninteresting, an Android Mandala coloring book app such as Coloring Book for Me & Mandala can be just the right choice. Coloring a beautiful picture can be wonderfully soothing brain activity.

Bring in breathing exercises

Breathing exercises are typically used by adults to help relax. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t help a child, too, however. You need to help your kid understand the point of breathing exercises, and offer help with a little practice. Since kids do get quickly bored with quiet, gentle exercise routines, however, it’s usually not a good idea to try more than a minute at a time.

Once your kid begins to learn how it’s done, he’ll like it, and he’ll be able to use it whenever he feels stressed, wherever he may be. It’s an exercise that can be done anywhere, without anyone knowing.

Target stress wherever it appears, and take it out

There is so much stress to a kid’s life these days, there’s no need to add to it by making mistakes. A kid needs to get strenuous physical activity each day to burn off energy. It’s a natural physical need, and you need to make sure that it happens. An hour of activity and 11 hours of sleep a day should be considered non-negotiable.

Finally, lack of a routine can be a serious stressor. Children feel good about regular wake-up times, bedtimes, mealtimes and study times. You need to make sure that there is a certain amount of structure. It can help make the world seem safer and more manageable to a kid.

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