Stress Management For Kids - Set The Stage

Some people don't realize it, but children feel stress too.  In fact, stress management for kids is just as important for their health and happiness as stress management for adults is for grownups.

A certain amount of stress is unavoidable.  It's just part of everyday life.  We all feel stress from time to time - adults, teenagers and young kids.  And that means we all need to know how to deal with that stress, before it starts having too much impact on our lives. 

A little stress can be good because it can be an effective motivator.  For example, a little stress can counteract a tendency toward procrastination and galvanize us into taking action. 

But too much stress, especially when it's not managed properly, can lead to problems - both physical and mental.

Taking Control

Young adults, teenagers and young children are frequently more sensitive to stress and its effects than mature adults, who are able to draw on their more extensive experience to put things into perspective. 

Children often feel as though they are not in control of their surroundings or the events that impact their lives.  This feeling of being powerless appears to be one of the key factors that lead to feelings of stress, in adults as well as kids. 

A child's ability to learn the proper balance between taking control of life and accepting life as it is can be an important part of stress management for kids. 

Children who are successful in achieving this balance appear to feel significantly less stress than those who struggle with putting things in their proper perspective.


Kids that don't know how to cope with their stress need the help of their parents.  Fortunately, there are many things you, as a parent, can do to help your children learn to handle and manage their stress. 

Caring parents can make effective stress management for kids more than just a possibility - they can help their children make it a reality. 

You should watch for signs of stress in your children.  Unmanaged stress in kids often manifests itself in physical symptoms such as frequent colds, stomach aches, nausea, headaches and other flu-like symptoms. 

Other children in need of stress management for kids become "clingy," cry frequently or sometimes wet their beds.  Still others throw temper tantrums, become listless or lethargic, or take the opposite path and become hyperactive.  And previously diligent students may become disinterested in school. 

If you notice any of these symptoms in one of your children and they persist for more than a few days, your child may be under stress and need your help to cope with what he or she is experiencing.

Building a strong family unit is one of the first steps in stress management for kids.  Listen to your children when they feel the need to talk, give them the kind of loving, helpful guidance they need when they tell you their problems, and be as empathetic as you can. 

Encourage your children to participate in family discussions, and let them know you value their opinions.  In general, make your children feel they're important members of your family "team" and that you can help them learn to cope with their stress.

Stress and Physical Health

Stress management for kids also involves taking steps to help them learn how to ensure their physical health. 

Make sure they eat a healthy diet and get plenty of physical exercise and sleep.  Don't let your children skip any meals. 

Vigorous daily exercise is also essential.  Don't let your children sit in front of a computer or video game console all day.  Instead, get them outside for some exercise - riding a bike, playing a game of soccer, or getting involved in some other game.  

Even better, spend some time playing with them yourself. 

Unmanaged stress can easily lead to illness, so stress management for kids is a key factor in your children remaining healthy.

Play By the Rules

Set clear but fair rules for your children to follow.  Children can become confused if they receive mixed signals about what they are and are not permitted to do, and that confusion can lead to stress. 

You can also help your children manage their stress by teaching them meditation techniques, breathing exercises or even the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) - an energy technique that can soothe a child's emotions and manage his or her stress like acupuncture can help relieve pain. 

Taught at an early age, stress management for kids can help, and it's important.

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