As parents we can often make the mistake of thinking that stress or anxiety is an adult problem. But stress among kids, especially young children has really become more heightened during the global Covid-19 pandemic.
School can of course be very demanding and there are a lot of challenges associated with growing up that can be very difficult to navigate. Increased stress levels in children are causing an increase in mental health issues in the younger generation, so parents need to find ways to help kids deal with stress.
A 2019 article in The Guardian addressed the crisis level at which mental health of pupils is getting to. These are ways to try and address the potential of stress and other mental health issues that may arise in kids as they grow, and we discuss some of these below, but as with all mental health issues, even with kids, remember – it’s good to talk!
Create A Relaxing Home Environment
Our surroundings have a big impact on our stress levels, so think carefully about your home environment. If you can create a relaxing environment where your child feels safe and they can unwind, their potential stress levels can be easier to manage.
If you are prone to stress and there is often a chaotic atmosphere in the house, your child will pick up on this. They learn from example and if you are bad at managing stress, your child can pick up on this and may in turn develop similar experiences. So, make sure that you find healthy ways to manage your own stress levels and create a relaxing home environment.
Try Creative Hobbies
Creative writing is brilliant for your child’s development and it helps to improve their overall education too, but did you know that it is also a brilliant way to help people deal with stress?
If you give your child writing worksheets to prompt their imagination and create stories, they can use this as an output for any potential stress or anxiety that may be building. It can also be a great way to help them unwind when after school, while still keeping an element of education in mind.
Regular creative writing sessions can help your child to express themselves in a healthy way instead of bottling up stress.
Drawing and painting is another creative hobby that children can use to express their feelings. Even if your child is not particularly artistic, it still benefits them, so you should encourage them to experiment. These are two things we regularly do as a family.
Encourage Them To Stay Active
A lot of the methods that work for adults work just as well for children, especially exercise. Exercise releases endorphins and reduces the level of stress hormones in the body, which is why it’s so great for reducing stress. If you think that your child is stressed, encourage them to get active and play outside for a while.
You don’t need to get them to do a workout or anything, just play some active games with them. Regular exercise will improve their overall health and drastically reduce their stress levels. It’s recommended that children aged 5 to 18 try to get at least 60 minutes of exercise every day.
Got Something to Add?
These are all effective ways for children to manage their stress but the most important thing you can do is talk to them and let them know that you’re here for them.
If you’ve any tips for dealing with stress and anxiety among kids, let us know in the comments section below.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
Helen, Nial and Lewis.