Kids and Stress: Quick Stress Relief Strategies

Fast and Effective Ways to Help Reduce Your Child's Stress

Happy father and son while playing games
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When dealing with kids and stress, parents can often use some easy and effective ways to reduce tension and anxiety. Here are some quick tips for reducing child stress.

  1. Deep breathing
    Something as easy as taking some deep breaths can be an amazingly fast and effective way to relieve stress in kids.
  2. Relaxation exercise
    Have your child lie down on his bed or the sofa and try this easy relaxation exercise. In a soothing and quiet voice, give him these directions:
    • Tell your child to visualize himself on a warm beach, with fluffy white clouds in the blue sky and a warm breeze on his face.
    • Have him concentrate on his breathing, paying attention to slowing it down as he relaxes his body with each out breath. Suggest that he picture breathing in soothing oxygen and breathing out the stress as his breath carries all the tension and worry out of his body.
    • Starting with the head, ask him to relax his eyes and breathe in slowly and breathe the stress out. Next, tell him to relax his nose, ears, and mouth and breathe in slowly and breathe out the stress. Then do the neck, shoulders, arms, fingers, and so on until you reach the toes. With each body part, have him breathe in slowly and exhale the stress out.
  1. Cuddles
    Even older grade-schoolers can sometimes use a big hug from mom or dad when things are not going smoothly. Grab a favorite book or a kid movie and snuggle together on the couch. It'll be a great way to help your child de-stress—and you as well—while you spend some time together. These small moments can play a big role in bringing you closer together as you strengthen the bond between you and your child.
  2. Playing a game
    Whether it’s a favorite board game or just running around the park playing hide and seek, playing a game can be a great way for kids to de-stress. After you play, your child may be more open to talking, which is also a great stress-reliever.
  3. Physical activity
    Exercise is an excellent stress-reliever. Something as easy as a game of shooting hoops in the driveway or a 15-minute walk, especially where you can see trees, flowers, and other natural surroundings, is a great mood-lifter. Studies have shown that boys are especially more likely to open up about feelings when physical activity is involved.
  1. Massage
    Giving your child a gentle shoulder massage and massaging her arms and legs with some massage oil or lotion can be an excellent way to help her relax and release any tension she may be feeling.

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