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7 Ways to Help Your Kids Reduce Stress in This COVID-19 World

In this crazy 24/7 COVID-19 world, itís hard to tell how children will react. Some handle it really well while others have a difficult time processing the information and become easily stressed out. How can
parents help their children deal with the stress of these difficult and uncertain times?

Dr. Alok Trivedi is an expert in human behavior and stress, and founder of the Aligned Performance Institute. He says the best way parents can help their children is to:

  • Keep a calm tone: Sometimes itís not the words you say, but how you say them that determines how a child is going to react. If you instill chaos and panic in the tone of your voice, your child is
    more likely to become scared. However, if you say your words in a calm manner, even if what you say isnít what they want to hear, they are more likely to remain relaxed.

  • Learn your facts before you talk to the kids ñ The reality is that most adults and kids are rarely effective by the virus. Itís the people who are immune compromised and older in age who need
    to be more concerned. Regardless, before you speak to your children about whatís going on, make sure you understand whatís happening and that you are getting your information from reliable sources. There is a lot of scary misinformation currently circulating, so parents, make sure you get the real facts before communicating with your kids.

  • Give kids projects on what they love to do: With kids home from school now, theyíre going to need things to do. Kids respond better when they get involved with something they truly love. Give them projects around these activities. Most kids like YouTube, so encourage them to use this online platform to learn as much as they can about their interests. Not only are you taking their mind off the Coronavirus, youíre helping them become more involved in what they are already passionate about.

  • Manage your own stress levels. Kids will read their parentís stress levels and respond accordingly. If you need a moment to unwind, itís okay to excuse yourself, take a few minutes to regroup and get yourself together before interacting again with the kids. After your own stress levels are in-check, then you can focus on making sure your children are handling it well, too. Signs that the stress might be too much for them: changes in appetite, unable to sleep, acting fearful or anxious, wanting to be left alone and a lack of excitement for things they usually enjoy.

  • Be supportive: Stress is very real. Even if you donít understand it, know that for your kids it can be very serious. Always be supportive and help them work through whatís bothering them as best you can. Never say things like, ìjust get over itî or ìyouíre overreacting.î If your childís worry becomes more serious and doesnít subside, they may need professional help.

  • Reduce stress by being healthy: The best way to reduce stress is to take appropriate measures to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. Donít just encourage your children to wash their hands and not touch their face, but let them know that by doing so, they are minimizing their chance of coming down with the virus. Healthy behaviors will lead to stronger mental health and well-being.

  • Give your kids something to look forward to: A lot of families are stressed right now due to the disruption of everyday life. Kids do really well and feel good when they have something to look forward to. Remind them about that big summer vacation that is coming up, or that school has less than three months until break, or that when the virus passes, you will do something really great that they love.

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