3 Ways to De-stress Kids

1. Allow Downtime

As much as it may pain you to see your child lying on her bed like a slug, let her – time to unwind after school protcts mental health. “For teenagers, downtime is productive because they’re thinking about their day, figuring things out,” says Roni Cohen Sandler, Ph.D., author of Stressed-Out Girls: Helping Them Thrive in the Age of Pressure.” They have to go through that to recharge.” Discuss their after-school schedule preferences to allow empty time and be sure to schedule at least a couple of days a week with nothing after school.

2. Break Problems Into Pieces

An over-whelming to-do list can paralyze your kid. Help turn the mountain into a series of molehills. With younger children that can mean dividing a spelling list into five words to memorize each night. Older teens might need help organizing tasks for a major research paper, wo work together to set priorities.

3. Pencil in family dinners

Studies show that spending even 20 minutes sharing a meal as a family threee or four nights a week keeps kids and parents connected and communicative, which in turn makes children more resilient to the negative effects of stress. If dinner is usually a no-go at your house, breakfast, lunch, or weekly family movie night also fits the bill.

the above information came directly from Better Homes and Gardens, Feb. 2008 issue “Less-Stressed Kids by Melody Warnick.