How to Help Your Child Deal with Worry and Stress
1. Help model positive ways of dealing with stress. Talk to your children about your personal stress in a child-appropriate way and explain to them how you deal with it. For example: “I had a really hard day at work today so I’m going to go for a walk. Would you like to join me?”
2. Praise the process, not the final mark. After your child studies, praise their hard work. Then, if they get a positive mark, reframe it with: “I bet you got this mark from your hard work; that’s what matters to me.” If however, they do poorly on a test, you can say : “We’ll use this information to help us next time but I am still proud of how hard you studied.” Over time, if you are consistent with this messaging, they will be less concerned about test performance.
3. Get prepared and packed the night before. School mornings can be really tough - lunches to pack, kids to dress, homework to check, agendas to sign, etc. I know how tough it is among activities and such to do this ahead of time. However, if children can wake up slow, enjoy breakfast before walking to school, and not be rushed, it can get help reduce tension.
4. Talk them through their stress. Talk to them while they’re calm about the things that stress them out. Help them breakdown and express what causes them stress while reinforcing that you believe they can face their concerns successfully. Lastly, check in regularly as they deal with the things that stress them out.