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– All kids experience many different kinds of stress.
– How you help your children handle stress depends on their age.
– Don’t feel like you have to solve every problem. Help them learn how to
– manage their own emotions and stresses.
– Make sure you don’t neglect your own emotional needs.
– Work to model effective stress management for your kids.
When adulting gets hard, you may think back to how carefree your childhood seemed—but you’re probably reminiscing through rose-tinted glasses. Kids and teenagers experience stress, too, and just because they don’t show it the same way adults do doesn’t mean it’s not there.
“It’s easy to think, ‘They don’t have jobs or bills or traffic, so what do they have to worry about?’ Just because kids don’t have adult concerns doesn’t mean they can’t experience stress or get overwhelmed. It’s important for adults to recognize that,” says Georganna Sedlar, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
On top of stress caused by school, friendship problems and family dynamics, kids and teens can be affected by common causes of adult stress, like the internet and social media—and they’re exposed to it now more than ever.
“They have access to so much more information, and they may not have the resources or understanding for how to make sense of that or process that,” Sedlar says.
As a parent or guardian, you can help your children learn how to better manage stress and become more emotionally resilient. Here are Sedlar’s tips for helping children of all ages.