1.) Tell your child that it is okay to be imperfect.
Often we feel that it is necessary for our children to succeed in sports, school, and performance situations. School becomes driven by grades, not by enjoyment of learning. It is important to encourage your child to work hard but equally important to accept and embrace your child’s mistakes and imperfections.
2.) Focus on the positives.
Many times anxious and stressed children can get lost in negative thoughts and self-criticism. They may focus on how the glass is half empty instead of half-full and worry about future events. The more that you are able to focus on your child’s positive attributes and the good aspects of a situation, the more that it will remind your child to focus on the positives.
3.) Schedule relaxing activities.
Children need time to relax and be kids. It is important to ensure that your child engages in play purely for the sake of fun. This may include scheduling time each day for your child to play with toys, play a game, play a sport (without it being competitive), doing yoga, paint, have a tea party, put on a play, or just be silly.
4.) Practice relaxation exercises with your child.
Sometimes really basic relaxation exercises are necessary to help your child to reduce their stress and anxiety. This might mean telling your child to take a few slow, deep breaths (and you taking a few slow breaths with your child so your child can match your pace). Or it might mean asking your child to image him or herself somewhere relaxing, like the beach or relaxing in a backyard by a pool. Ask your child to close his/her eyes and imagine the sounds, smells, and sensations associated with the image
5.) Stay calm.
Children look to their parents to determine how to react in situations. If you are anxious, your child will pick up on that anxiety and experience an increase in his/her own anxiety. So when you want to reduce your child’s anxiety, you must manage your own anxiety. This may mean deliberately slowing down your own speech, taking a few deep breaths to relax, and working to ensure that your facial expression conveys that you are calm.
To read more on helping your child deal with stress click on the link below.