Saturday, June 3, 2017

4 Stress-Management Techniques for Anxious Kids

Image via Pixabay 
Approximately 50% of mental illness symptoms begin by age 14, even if parents or kids don’t immediately recognize the symptoms. Even if you don’t suspect your child has a mental health condition, you may worry about how much stress he experiences. Stress can have a major impact on the body, especially if it remains untreated for a long period of time. The stress-management techniques below can help alleviate childhood anxiety, whether you’re parenting one of the 17.1 million kids with a psychiatric condition or simply helping your child cope with temporary stressors.

Talk it Out

Sometimes a vent session is all your child needs to recover from a stressful experience. When your child is worried about something, encourage him to talk about what’s wrong. Academic stress, peer pressure or bigger issues like moving to a new school, can all have a big impact on a child’s mental health. Ask open-ended questions that encourage discussion, such as, “Can you tell me what happened at lunch today?” or “I haven’t seen Emily over here lately. What’s new with her?” This gives your child the option to give you a detailed explanation of what’s happening rather than resorting to a one-word response.

If your son or daughter hates talking about uncomfortable topics, give them a journal. Encourage them to jot down anything that comes to mind, good or bad, each day. Consider setting aside quiet time for journaling before bed or first thing in the morning so that your child gets in the habit of jotting down their feelings. If your child struggles with spelling or doesn’t know how to read, have them draw pictures instead. You can also give them a stack of old magazines and encourage them to cut out pictures that they like or relate to so that they can paste them in the journal.

Create a Checklist

Not every episode of anxiety has a specific trigger, but some anxiety attacks stem from a fear of the unknown. You can help mitigate this type of concern by having your child create a checklist that details how to react in a stressful situation. You can create different checklists for common situations or develop one basic sheet that applies to any issue.

Keep the checklist as concise as possible while still covering everything that your child wants or needs. This prevents the checklist from becoming an overwhelming to-do list that adds - rather than alleviates - stress. Kids who can’t read can draw pictures to help them remember what to do when they’re stressed. You can also take photographs of different things, such as your child taking deep breaths or coloring in a notebook, for the checklist.

Practice Breathing Exercises

When anxiety strikes, encourage your child to take slow, deep breaths and focus on his breathing. Have him close his eyes so that there are fewer distractions, and ask him to breathe through his nose rather than his mouth.

You may have seen adults count to 10 or even 20 during deep breathing sessions, but high numbers can be difficult for kids with limited attention spans. Start by counting to 3, and increase to 5 or 7 over time if you feel your child is ready. Have your son or daughter take a deep breath, hold it for the count of 3, and exhale for the count of 3.

Perform Visualization

What’s your child’s favorite thing to do? Is there a special place he loves to visit? When stress strikes, have your child close his eyes and picture his desired destination or activity. Have him incorporate all of his senses during his visualization exercise. If he’s on the beach, he should smell the ocean and feel the warm sand beneath his toes. If he’s pretending he’s eating his favorite meal, he should smell the food and think about how it feels in his mouth.

Remind your child that he is in control and nothing bad can happen during his visualization. The weather is nice, and everyone is happy. There are no tornadoes, spooky clowns, or anything else that may terrify your child.

Coping with anxiety is difficult at any age, but there are ways to effectively tackle worries. Encourage your child to try the techniques above next time an episode of anxiety occurs so that he can find much-needed relief from the situation.


  1. what kind of fuckery is this

    1. Reality perhaps? Not the strong point of a few too many jerkwads that post here.

  2. Im failing to realise what significance this has to do with anti social personality.


    1. Just general good advice on how to cope with stress and how to help your children cope with stress. Not every post on here is about ASPD. Though if you are ASPD and have a child they might really need this :)

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.


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