Even very young children have worries and feel stress. Here’s how parents can help children respond to stress in healthy ways.
Everyone suffers from stress now and again, including children. No matter how happy and carefree your child’s life is, there will always be some level of stress that closes in on them, and that stress can be costly to their health.
Stress is the number one cause of most common ailments and it can build up in children without parents even realising it. If stress is an issue for your child, why not try and find some fun ways to relieve it?
There are many different suggested techniques for relieving stress in children, but the key is always to lift your child’s mood and free them from the weight of whatever is troubling them. That means finding something that will take your child’s mind off their stress and allow them to breathe easily, even for a few minutes at a time. That may be all your child needs to help them feel much better.
So what can you do to beat stress and put a smile on your child’s face?
Let them listen to music
Music has a remarkable ability to affect our moods. Put on your child’s favourite music and let them listen or even get up and dance to it.
Encourage them to be more active
Physical activity can be a very effective stress buster for children as it helps to stimulate the production of stress-relieving endorphins in their system.
Turn to mood-boosting foods
Interestingly, certain foods and beverages may have stress-relieving qualities.
- Eating whole, nutrient-rich carb sources like sweet potatoes may help lower your child’s levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
- Organ meats are an excellent source of B vitamins for children, especially B12, B6, riboflavin, and folate, which are essential for stress control.
- Eggs are packed with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants needed for a healthy stress response.
- Chamomile is a medicinal herb that has been used since ancient times as a natural stress reducer. Its tea and extract have been shown to promote restful sleep and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in children.
Take them shopping
While not all children enjoy shopping, taking your child out for a treat can help brighten their day.
Offer them a shoulder to lean on
Simply encouraging your child to talk about their problems can help to put them in perspective and make them seem easier to deal with. If your child doesn’t want to talk about their problems, that’s okay too, try just snuggling with them and letting them know that you are there if they need you.
Try meditation and yoga
Meditation and yoga can help to balance mind and body and allow your child to free themselves from whatever is bothering them. Encourage your child to breathe deeply and focus on something positive as they let the stress go.
When to call a doctor
Talk to a professional if your child:
- Is becoming withdrawn, more unhappy, or depressed
- Is having problems in school or interacting with friends or family
- Is unable to control their behaviour or anger