Friday, January 14, 2011

Reducing Stress in Kids by Lori Lite

Since I began my masters program in brain-based teaching, I've learned about the negative effects of stress on the brain. I now realize the importance of teaching children how to recognize and control stress.  Did you know that stress actually damages the brain? For more information, see Stress-Brain Rules.  Therefore, I was thrilled to discover Stress Free Kids!  There are many fabulous resources (for parents and teachers) to help kids learn valuable stress management skills.  Lori Lite, the founder of Stress Free Kids, was kind enough to write the following post.  Please continue reading and then visit her wonderful site. 


Reducing Stress in Kids by Lori Lite

Children are vulnerable to stress. Make sure that  their emotional backpack is filled with tools for stress management and relaxation.  Kids can be active participants in creating their own healthy, calm lives.
  • Be aware that change, be it positive or negative, creates stress for most kids.
  • Make time to relax and schedule downtime for your children. Do not over-schedule.
  • Show your child how to maintain a positive outlook, stop the chatter and lists in their heads, and take their mind off of their worries.
Here are 4 tips and  proven techniques  to help you and your children  manage stress:
  • Use affirmations or positive statements to counteract kids’ stress. Teach your children to take a break and say, “I am calm. I am relaxed. I am peaceful. I am happy. I am safe.” Write a positive statement and have your child carry it in their pocket for the day. Put a list in the back of their school notebook for them to access at any time.
  • Create visualizations – imagining can be both fun and effective. Create a happy thought that children can “go to” when stressed or worried. Develop a short story or scene that your child can think of when they are fearful or anxious.. Go for a calming ride on a cloud or float in a bubble. Slide down a rainbow and encourage your child to create their own relaxing story. Let them write it down or record it and then let them relax mom or dad with their visualization.
  • Practice controlled breathing. Taking slow deep breaths can help lower a child’s anxiety and anger. All children can benefit from this important powerful stress and anger management technique. Children with special needs; Autism, Aspergers, ADHD, SPD, PTSD can learn to bring their energy level down a notch and feel in charge of themselves. Children can use breathing when they feel over-stimulated or on a verge of a temper tantrum, have them focus on their breathing and soothe themselves.  Breathe in 2,3,4 and out 2,3,4. In 2,3,4 and out 2,3,4. Encourage your child to show one of their dolls or stuffed animals this technique.
  • Use progressive muscle relaxation to help your child to fall asleep. Relax your child’s mind and body by telling various muscle groups to relax. Start with your child’s feet and work your way up to their head or reverse the order. After a few tries your child will be able to use this technique on their own. “I am going to relax my legs. I will relax my legs. My legs are relaxing. My legs are relaxed.” For a variation, try active progressive muscular relaxation. Tighten muscle groups and relax. “Hold, hold, hold…..Ahhhhh…”
These are just a few of the techniques we employ for producing stress free children.  We offer books, CDs and Lesson plans and we invite you to explore our entire site to learn more about how you can better deal with kids and stress. We encourage you to read and comment on any of the blog articles pertaining to children and stress. Feel free to post these articles to your website or share them with friends.
Sea Otter Cove is one of four stories on the Indigo Ocean Dreams CD where children learn about diaphragmatic (belly) breathing. This effective, self-calming technique can have a positive impact on your child’s health. Proper breathing can lower stress and anxiety levels. It can be used to decrease pain and anger.

About Lori Lite
Stress Free Kids founder Lori Lite has created a line of books and CDs designed to help children, teens, and adults decrease stress, anxiety, and anger. Ms. Lite’s books, CDs, and lesson plans are considered a resource for parents, psychologists, therapists, child life specialists, teachers, and yoga instructors. Lori is a certified children’s meditation facilitator and  Sears’ Manage My Life parenting expert. For more information visit  Stress Free Kids and for daily advice follow Lori on Twitter and  Facebook .


ORDER Sea Otter Cove or Indigo Ocean Dreams CD NOW and save 15% by entering code SFK1015 upon check out on the Stress Free Kids website.

1 comment:

  1. Wow "L" this is great stuff. I was surfing the interbutz found this site. With the Tiger Parenting thang getting so much press as of late, it is refreshing to come across less abrasive and (I'll say it) sane parenting methods. So awesome "L". Thanks.