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What to Do If Your Child Is Stressed

What to Do If Your Child Is Stressed

    Does your child often get sick, or do they constantly whine and cry? Do they bite their nails, act out or often throw tantrums? Then your child may be stressed. Here is a simple guide on how to handle this and change things around for the better.

    The first step is to stay calm. If you become frazzled, your child’s stress level will only increase. You know the scenario – child falls and doesn’t flinch…until he hears his mother’s gasp.

    The second step is to try and identify the reason behind your child’s stress. This way you will be able to develop a specific plan to reduce or eliminate it.

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    Here are the most common reasons children are stressed. Remember, even small babies and children can be stressed.

    Overload: too many activities with no time to relax. (over-scheduled). This can refer to a baby or toddler registered in too many classes all the way to a school-aged child who has too many after-school activities.

    Real-World Events: scary nightly news or exposure to world events

    Trauma: divorce, accident, death in family

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    Peer Problems: peer pressure, bullying, rejection

    Appearance: Concern with clothes, weight, appearance, fitting in

    School: Grades, homework, over emphasis on performance by parent or teacher

    Unrealistic Expectations: too pressured, standards too high in relation to ability

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    Home Problems: divorce, illness, a move, financial strain, stressed parents, sibling rivalry

    After having identified the potential cause or causes of your child’s stress, move onto step three, which is to come up with a plan as to how you can reduce or eliminate the stress. Here are some things to consider working on:

    1. Set a good bedtime routine.

    Heavy workloads and over-scheduling can deeply affect a child’s sleep patterns. Without a good night’s sleep of at least 9-11 hours a night, stress can build. Sleep experts suggest turning off all electric items 30 mins to 1 hour before bed.

    2. Turn off, eliminate, or ask for help to reduce potential stressors.

    Keep the news and your adult conversations out of your child’s environment as much as possible. Hearing you discuss politics, the economic crisis or the recent death toll from a natural disaster can really stress some children. Also, ask yourself, “Is there too much yelling in our home?” Another solution to different types of problems could be to hire a tutor to help your child with homework.

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    3. Cut out one or more activities.

    Evaluate your child’s daily schedule of school, home and extracurricular activities. How much free time does your child have left?

    4. Create family routines and rituals.

    Routines and rituals help reduce stress because it boosts predictability for kids. Not only will family meals, bedtime rituals, nighttime stories, hot baths, hugs and back rubs reduce stress, they will create lasting family memories.

    5. Monitor TV viewing.

    Kids say one big stressor to them is watching the news without an adult being there to explain late-breaking news events. We ALL could stand to watch less news as it does little to help us – limit TV or at the least, be there to help explain events that your child may see.

    6. Teach your children to repeat the phrase, “I can handle this” when they begin feeling stressed, as well as to take 5 slow deep breaths when they feel overwhelmed.

    Finally, the most helpful thing you as a parent can do to reduce the amount of stress your child has is to learn and practice ways of reducing your own stress. After all, less stressed parents = less stressed kids – that’s a fact.

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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