As a parent, you can’t prevent stressful events from entering your child’s life. You can, however, teach your child what to do to control reactions to stress. Here are a few quick tips that you can teach your child to use in the face of stressful situations.

  • Talk it out with someone who offers love and trust. Talking is a good idea for several reasons. First, there is something about “talking it out” that really does get the problem out. Problems and stress move away from and out of us when we vent. Second, there is no need to deal with stress on your own. Family and friends are happy to help. Third, if you talk to someone, that person might have new ideas about how to solve the problem.
  • Think positively. When you tell yourself—and your brain—that you can handle a situation, overcome mistakes, and feel better, it is easier to do just that.
  • Find something that helps you feel like laughing. Laughter is good for sacking stress buildup. Read a book that tickles your funny bone or watch a movie that nudges you to giggle. Laughing lightens the feelings of stress.
  • Keep moving and remember the fun factor. Exercising and having fun are good ways to destress. Riding your bike, playing with friends at school or in your neighborhood, or finding things to do that make you feel happy and calm are all good ideas.

Learning how to handle stress is an important life skill to teach children.