Stress in school children doesn’t always wear the same face as adults or infants. Adults could manifest stress in unhealthy habits while infants in various emotional outbursts, but grade schoolers show it much differently. The American Psychological Association even suggests children and teens may not recognise their stress at all. This is where parents and teachers play the vital role of recognising the early signs of stress in them.
How do you spot these exactly? First, look for changes in their behaviour, such as increased irritability, mood swings, trouble sleeping or sudden changes in appetite. Physical symptoms like headaches and stomachaches can also be red flags. If a child withdraws from activities or friends they used to enjoy, it’s worth paying attention. Sometimes, they might even become more clingy.
It’s also important to highlight that stress in children isn’t always due to negative experiences. Exciting events like graduations, holidays, or starting new activities can also trigger stress. The anticipation and pressure can be overwhelming for them. As adults, we must be mindful of these situations and offer support when needed.
Stress is a part of life for kids, just as it is for grown-ups. In this blog, we will begin by understanding that parents’ and teachers role is not to shield children from stress but to guide them in managing it effectively. In that way, we help them develop the resilience to face life’s challenges. If you’re ready, let’s dive right in!
#310: Amanda Mackay | Releasing Stress and Emotions With Sound Therapy
Stressors are real for children and teens, even if they seem trivial to adults. It can sneak into their lives just like it does for us. The only difference is that they still don’t know how to cope.
Children learn by observing adults, which is why establishing a relaxation routine is essential. When kids see you handling stress, they’re more likely to adopt these coping strategies. Plus, this could be a bonding time from screen breaks and engaging in outdoor activities, time spent in nature, to a restorative practice you love doing!
Sound therapy is a unique restorative practice proven to help autistic children just as it alleviates adult stress-related illnesses.
We talked more about sound therapy in this podcast episode:
- Sound therapy uses singing bowls, tuning forks, and sound baths to relax the body and central nervous system, aiding sleep, reducing anxiety, and improving productivity by lowering heightened emotional states.
- Unresolved emotions impact our present. Sound therapy helps release these emotions and reduce the likelihood of repeating negative experiences.
- Holding onto stress manifests in physical ailments. By releasing emotional and physical pain, you can move forward without the harmful effects of stress, leading to a happier and healthier life.
As parents and teachers, we naturally want to shield children from stress. Well, a bit of stress can have its benefits. Stress isn’t always a bad thing. Say a child starts a new school year or joins a club. The first thing on their mind is making friends— one of the most common child stressors. But this also indicates they care about forming connections with others. That desire for companionship pushes them to be better people.
This week, we picked a simple yet effective way to create an instant bond through these randomised cards— sharing their favourite snack. It sparks conversations, forming long-lasting friendships!
Make connections fun with Creative Play and Movement Cards. These are packed with exciting challenges that help children break the ice with their peers. Each card presents a unique activity or question that fosters connections for ages three and above.
You can get your deck of Creative Play and Movement Cards HERE.
Of course, not all stress is beneficial. Excessive stress can harm a child’s well-being, especially if it remains unchecked. At home or school, this could start with learning. In fact, a recent survey shows that 89% of parents find Mathematics the most difficult subject for their kids.
This is where the concept of gamification comes into play. Gamification is a proven method that makes learning enjoyable and less stressful. Instead of dreading the lesson, a gamified approach transforms it into a game with rewards for achievements.
Legs 11 Lottery Winners is a quick, fun activity played in groups. Kids count down three, two, one, and on one; they all put a certain number of fingers out using one hand. They cannot communicate how many fingers they will place out each time to make it more exciting! The goal is for the group to have eleven fingers in total.
When a group of three has eleven fingers, they must cheer and celebrate as loud and happy as a team that has just won the lottery. This game is so engaging they would forget about the difficulty of adding and subtracting in no time!
For more like this game, we have assembled a collection of 900 + games and activities suited to all ages HERE.
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