This month on the Raising Happiness blog I wrote about some scary statistics revealing the huge stress that kids are under these days. After providing all that evidence that our children are clearly suffering, I promised a follow-up post about how parents can help kids cope with school-related stress and anxiety.
Here are my three specific suggestions for how to help kids cope with stress:
Those aren’t the only three things I’d suggest, of course. I’ll be blogging this summer about how we can employ nature in our efforts to reduce kids’ stress. In fact, my blog, book, and online class are all dedicated to practices that foster happiness. For example, you might decide to help your kids deal with stress by working on your own stress first, or your own busyness. Or, you might try to rely less on using external rewards to motivate your kids, so that they can be in closer touch with their intrinsic motivation and their passions.
In general, remember this: Anything you do to bring more positive emotions into your kids’ lives will help them cope with the pressure and stress they may be feeling: Positive emotions act like “breaks” to our fight or flight system, slowing our heart rates and helping us feel calm again.
This all might seem hard now, when end-of-the-school-year busyness can feel overwhelming. But look on the bright side: Summer is right around the corner!
Cross-posted from Christine Carter’s blog, Raising Happiness, Science for Joyful Kids and Happier Parents.