Ways of helping children to manage stress

Ways of helping children to manage stress

Stress is the mental and physical reaction to external factors. The feelings and emotions triggered inside of us depend upon our interpretation of those factors. One strategy consists of raising our stress threshold level so that stress reactions are harder to cause. Another strategy provides tools to efficiently reduce our stress reactions and to neutralize them at the end. We can apply this strategy in the same way to our children.

Mothers intuitively feel what’s best for their children and what burdens them. There is a psychic connection; an intimate non-verbal communication between mother and child. A child knows intuitively its mother’s feelings; its behaviour reflects her mood, lightheartedness but also her concerns and worries. It is therefore our responsibility and duty as parents to cleverly manage the stress factors and to do something for our mental health every day, not allowing the downward spiral of neurophysiological stress to suck us down.

We, the adults need time-out.  We need the courage to leave gaps and slow things down; an effective way of reducing fatigue. The better we are at doing this, the more carefree our children will be growing up. It is important to develop their healthy and positive attitudes towards life and to strengthen their courage to live by the ability to soften everyday situations and not to see red when facing the smallest problem; to show the children, that to learn also means to make mistakes. This helps to prevent stress reactions.

Children feel their parent’s "meaning of life". When the parents are obsessed with social and professional constraints, the children react with stress symptoms and behavioral problems. Children need to sense sympathy and care, to feel secure so they can live their lives with curiosity, thirst for knowledge and a feeling of freedom. When these basic needs are unfulfilled they create stress in the form of internal tensions. Children seek to diminish this through frustrating actions when there aren't any other possibilities for naturally dealing with such imbalances.

Gaining experience in and with nature helps to be earthier, develops a sense of homeland, feeds and keeps up the enthusiasm for discovery, and allows the evolution of a healthy resistance against stress factors. Children need an orderly daily routine, healthy food, fixed feeding and bedtime, and in-between, enough space and time for physical activities and for playing and recreation. Children do not like to be scheduled by their parent's appointments. They need opportunities to socialize with other children and to experience a social interaction. They need comfort, compassion and understanding, when they’re upset or if something bad happened.

Kids already have a clear mental, body and spiritual constitution. Parents have to recognize it and to deal cleverly as educators with its nature. Kids can be lively, fiery or leisurely; they can grasp things quickly or slowly, be generous or precise. All this determines their possibilities and limitations and the threshold where stress reactions can be expected.

Life wants evolution. That’s the reason why our children’s lives are marked by challenges, unexpectedness, partiality and contradictions. Life wants to extend boundaries, stands "in competition mode", but above all, this is what unifies and harmonizes.  Therefore, we need tools for strengthening balance, integration and self-esteem and they must be included in our children's educational standards.

More about this issue in the following bog.

The book on the subject:

Kumuda Reddy, Linda Egenes: "Super Healthy Kids", a parent’s guide to Maharishi Ayurveda; www.mumpress.com

Introduction:

All parents want the best for their children. Yet when faced with a sick child, it's hard to know what to do. The time-tested wisdom of Maharishi Ayurveda offers surprisingly effective solutions to children's health problems today-from ADHD to obesity. This step-by-step guide explains how to use natural approaches such as diet, lifestyle, daily routine, meditation, massage, exercise, yoga postures, herbal remedies, and aroma therapy to prevent illness and restore balance. With this practical book in hand, you can keep your children healthy without negative side effects.

Photo source: © Cécile Gall / cecile-gall-photography.com

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