The global pandemic has more kids than ever stressed out. From social isolation, problems keeping up at school through online learning, and anxieties about the future, children of every age are experiencing symptoms of depression, like sadness and hopelessness, in record numbers. No different from the adults in their lives, these kids are struggling to manage stress on many levels. As a parent, it’s important to keep tabs on your child’s mental health. If your kid is stressed out, the great news is that there are simple ways to help them through sadness and other challenges that come with stressful times. For ways, you can help your stressed out child and why it’s important to try, read on.
Find your child a good therapist.
One of the best things you can do for a child suffering from stress and anxiety is to get them into child counseling. A simple Google search for ‘child therapy near me‘ will point you in the direction of a child therapist who can work with your child to give them tools to manage symptoms of stress and fear. Child counseling is not the same as it is for adults. Child therapists use a combination of play and art therapy to help kids express themselves and untangle difficult feelings. In getting your child into behavior therapy, child therapy, or even encouraging them to meet with a school counselor, you’ll be putting them in the position of having a healthy resource when times get tough.
Children who suffer from mental health issues, regular stress and anxiety, and other issues like behavior challenges and substance abuse generally struggle more than other kids academically. In getting your child help early on, they’ll have skills to manage stress throughout their childhood and into adulthood as well. Not only will this improve their self-esteem but help them to get back on track academically, too.
Use play to help release stress.
The same as a child psychologist might use play during child therapy sessions to get a child to open up during a difficult time, another way that you can support your child through challenges is to encourage fun and laughs. Start with a search for “clowns near me,” and consider throwing a backyard party with a bounce house, magician, neighborhood friends, and more. Whether you create your own backyard Las Vegas theme or go with a magic show, taking the time to get your child involved in something fun will help redirect their focus from whatever’s causing sadness. For kids with behavioral issues, a party like this can also be a great incentive for encouraging improvements in a child’s behavior.
Encourage peer support and friendships.
Children are not mini-adults. They have different life challenges and psychologies. Because their minds are developing, children handle stress and anxiety differently than adults do. For this reason, it’s important to help kids when it comes to building peer support networks. While you could send your child to age-appropriate group therapy, you could also help simply by encouraging friendships. Your child has a friend their age that they trust to open up to can do wonders for their overall mental wellbeing.
Have open conversations with your children.
When your child is going through a difficult time, it’s a good idea to have an honest conversation about what’s bothering them. Let your child know you love them and are there to support them, even if they are resistant to your help or affection. While your child may not appear to want you involved, or even appreciate the offer, being there anyway will let them know they aren’t alone.
By doing your best to advocate for your child, having honest conversations, and giving your child outlets to release stress, you’ll be putting them in the position to get through stressful times easier. Not only will you be teaching them healthy coping methods that will last a lifetime, but you’ll be helping them to feel less alone, too. In helping a stressed out child, you’ll be adding to their quality of life and giving yourself peace of mind as well.