Every one of us (yes, even our little ones) feels stressed at times. And you better believe that Auntie Lo herself has some stressful moments from time to time! While kids may not have to deal with work or bills, they still experience stress & express it in their own ways. If I’m upset or working through something, I’ll hop on the elliptical to burn off energy, call my mom if I need to vent or just watch some TV so I can turn my brain off for a minute.
Every one of us (yes, even our little ones) feels stressed at times. And you better believe that Auntie Lo herself has some stressful moments from time to time!
While kids may not have to deal with work or bills, they still experience stress & express it in their own ways. If I’m upset or working through something, I’ll hop on the elliptical to burn off energy, call my mom if I need to vent or just watch some TV so I can turn my brain off for a minute.
Alternatively, our little ones haven’t yet developed the mental strength to know how to cope with the stress they experience. Everyone deals with it in different ways, but it’s important for caregivers and parents to teach children how to form healthy stress-management habits.
When you and your family are extra busy, it can be difficult to find moments of peace to unwind and let go of your stressful days. Not to fear: I’m giving you three simple ways to help your kiddos unwind, calm down and avoid a meltdown. Keep reading!
1. Get On Their Level
For me, helping a child handle their stress is about communication. If they’re having a super-hyper moment after a birthday party or playdate, I’ll sit with them on the floor so I’m at their eye level and say, “Oh my gosh, it’s been such a fun day, but we need to have some quiet time.” Then I like to give them options on which quiet-time activity we can do, like reading a book or taking a walk. This lets them have some control over the matter while still encouraging them to unwind.
Another great way to help your little ones relax when they’re stressed is by encouraging them to connect with their own village. Whenever I feel stressed, I find it helpful to reach out to my best girlfriends or family to vent. The village is there to support you and your child, and so why not use them? Encourage your kiddo to meet up with their friends for a playdate, set up a FaceTime call with their grandparents or find a fun playgroup for your child to join. Keep helping them build their little village!
2. Count Your Breaths
Sometimes it just helps to take a few seconds to stop and breathe! Concentrating on breathing is a simple and effective relaxation technique. I like to have the child close their eyes and count to ten with me. Or, we’ll take three deep breaths and I’ll have them match my pace. This is a really great way to pause and give the child a chance to let go of whatever they’re feeling. Bonus if you can practice this with your child and their friends to help them relax!
Not the, “Go to your room and think about what you’ve done!” kind of grounding! Grounding is an awesome mindfulness technique that focuses on your surroundings and senses, and it can help kids manage really overwhelming feelings! Whether they’re no longer interested in bed time or in desperate need of a second cookie, grounding forces kids to focus on what’s going on around them. Use the “54321 technique” and ask kids to name five things they see, four things they feel, three things they hear, two things they smell and one thing they taste. If that’s too much, just ask them to name one thing they can see, hear and feel. Either way, grounding is super calming and relaxing.
If you’re having one of those days, mama, try these techniques out for yourself! Demonstrating them to your children will help the little ones understand, recognize and practice positive self-soothing techniques. Being open and communicating your feelings will encourage your kids to do the same.
Don’t hesitate to call a girlfriend to talk things through, or set up a playdate to have a more man-to-man defense on the kid front. Remember that your village is there to help you and your kiddos feel their best!
Remember, always have courage and be kind.
How do you and your family de-stress after a crazy week? Share your techniques with me on Instagram!