Ensuring our children are happy and healthy is top of the agenda for all of us! Here are a few tips from our Head of Pre-Prep and Nursery, Steph Payne, to help little ones manage stress.
Playtime is important
Children need time to play. To explore and to figure out the world for themselves. Play is an important part of cognitive development and while young children do that naturally, older children often just ‘forget’ how to play. Encourage children to go outside and explore! Playtime that is combined with physical activity is great as it keeps children healthy. Riding a bike, going for a long walk – anything that gets the heart rate up!
Take it easy!
One of the biggest reasons children feel stressed is when they simply have too much to do! Extra-curricular activities are great and certainly have a place, but children’s minds and bodies needs time to rejuvenate. If your child is constantly tired – it might be time to look at their schedule. Do you have ‘downtime’ factored in? Another great way of understanding whether or not they are too busy is to look at family mealtimes. Is everyone eating on the go, or just grabbing and running? That can often be an indicator that it is time to slow down a bit.
Get some zzzzz
It can be difficult - bedtime is usually the time that children realise they are hungry/thirsty/want to discuss the meaning of life! However, sticking to a proper bedtime routine and ensuring children get enough sleep is vital. A lack of sleep can affect everything from mood to school performance. Creating an environment that promotes calm is helpful – keep electronics such as television and computers out of the bedroom.
Understand your own stress
Stress and worry can be infectious. When parents and caregivers are stressed, children pick up on it! Our lives are very busy and parents are often juggling lots of competing demands, but teaching your children to relax and just be calm is an important part of helping them learning how to deal with stressful situations
Prepare children for failure
For children, a lot of stress can come from the fear of making mistakes. Here at Ranby, we talk a lot about Growth Mindset. The idea that learning is a journey and that making mistakes is a part of that journey is an important lesson. Helping children figure out the next step after making a mistake or a bad decision is letting them know that it’s ok to fail.