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Monday, March 23, 2009

Helping Kids Deal with Stress

by Terri Forehand

Times are tough and the economy adds more stress to parents and kids too. Here are 3 tips to help your kids through the worry.

1. Remember that your kids really want more of your time than your money. Find cheap activities to enjoy together rather than expensive ones. Try board games, volunteering together to help someone with spring yard clean up, or plan and plant a garden. Be creative and allow time for your kids to express how they feel about what is going on in the world. Kids can be very talkative when their hands are busy.

2. Turn off the television, particularly news, during meal time. Family discussions can be stimulating when you ask your kids about politics, the economy, or the environment. It is a great time to share family values and solutions rather than dwell
on the negatives repeated over and over during the news. It makes for a much more pleasant meal.

3. Talk animals... all kinds of animals. Animals that can be pets, animals that are on the verge of extinction, and favorite animals. Kids love animals. It is a different kind of discussion, educational, and fun. It can even spark further research or suggest a family fieldtrip.

Parents who recognize that their children can become stressed over everyday news events can plan to include kids in more positive solutions and discussions if they give it some extra effort. Your kids will be happier knowing that you are there to help with any tough world issues they feel a part of, and your efforts will make them feel more secure in a very scary world.


Visit Terri Forehand, a pediatric critical care nurse, blog for kids.

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