Stress is common among most people. It may be difficult to believe that your child can be stressed just as much as you. The only difference is the nature of stress and to an extent the level of stress he is subject to. Just as stress can affect you, it can affect him too. In fact, he may encounter stress as early as his toddler days. However, the stress becomes more prominent starting from his pre-teen days. Some main reasons are academic pressure and peer pressure.
Studies have shown that chronic stress is very common among children. As adults we know of many ways to relieve ourselves from stress. But your pre-teenager may not be able to do so. You can help him find ways to knock of most of his stress and remain cheerful and healthy. Remember that you cannot eliminate the pressure completely for him.
Some simple tips for you to help your pre-teen child are:
- Teach the child how to relax. You can show him some simple relaxation techniques such as deep breathing.
- Encourage your pre-teenager to speak out his fears and make sure you do not laugh at them. Instead help him find ways to combat his fears.
- Talk to your child about the day to day events at school. This can help in reducing peer pressure and academic pressure.
- Establish a routine for your child to follow. This can sometimes make him feel secure and be less stressed out. However do not scold or get angry with him if he slips off the schedule rarely.
- Enrolling him for relaxation exercises such as yoga is a good idea.
- Teach your child to laugh often. Acting a bit silly at times and making others laugh helps at times for a six year old.
- If you find something troubling your pre-teenager, tell him that you notice how worried he is. Gently ask him to speak out his worries.
- Your child may not know how to identify various feelings. Teach him to identify each emotion and tell him the names such as anger, frustration, sadness and so on. Also, help him to develop his communication skills.
- Let your pre-teen know that you understand his feelings and suggest what you may have done in such instances.
- Help your child explore ways of relieving stress by himself. You can get him started on a discussion for this but do not take the decision yourself. For example, you can ask him "How do you think reading your favourite book will help you relax?" instead of saying "Reading your favourite story book will help you".
- Teach your pre-teenager to solve his problems on his own. Do not solve them on your own.
- If your child does not feel comfortable talking about his worries, do not force him to do so. Just assure him that you will always be there whenever he wants to do so.
- Monitor what your child watches on the television. Sometimes disturbing images can make him feel insecure and contribute to stress.