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Stress Relievers for Kids

by Carly Seifert, studioD

According to KidsHealth.org, stress can be brought on by a variety of situations -- from separation anxiety at school to an over-scheduled week of sports, music lessons and academics. By spending quality time with your child each day and providing him with opportunities to engage in playful and quiet activities, you are helping to relieve some of the stress he experiences.

Get Outside

Dr. Rhonda Clements, president of the American Association for the Child's Right to Play, states that active outdoor play relieves stress. Take your child for a walk or go on a bike ride together and enjoy the fresh air. Let your child know that it is acceptable to get dirty, and let her engage in free outdoor play. Provide your child with outdoor toys that encourage play, such as a sandbox, plastic shovels and a variety of balls.

Quality Time

According to KidsHealth.org, setting aside time each day with your child helps him cope with stress. Take him on a special outing -- his favorite restaurant for lunch, a trip to the new exhibit at the museum or simply to the neighborhood park -- to let him know how much you value time with him. By making yourself available to him, you are allowing him the opportunity to discuss stressful situations with you and may even have the chance to work on solutions with him.

Provide a Quiet Activity

Psychology Today states that even fun activities -- such as sports -- have become competitive and may cause stress in your child. Schedule time each day for your child to participate in a relaxing activity, free from pressure and competition. Set up a comfy chair with some of his favorite books where he can read. Provide him with art supplies so he can paint and draw. Sign him up for a soothing kids' yoga class.

Relaxation and Sleep

Teach your child to self-soothe during stressful situations. This can be as simple as breathing deeply and slowly with him during a situation that causes him anxiety. Turn on relaxing music and ask your child to imagine himself at the beach. These basic relaxation exercises may help reduce stress and anxiety, according to Dr. Amy Przeworski at Psychology Today. In addition to teaching coping techniques, help prevent stress before it starts by ensuring your child is getting enough sleep at night and has a calming bed time routine to help her transition into the state necessary to fall asleep.

About the Author

Carly Seifert has been a piano instructor since 2001. She has also covered adoption and introducing children to the arts for "Montana Parent Magazine." Seifert graduated from University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Arts in drama.

Photo Credits

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