Phyllis Law - April 2020

Helping Your Child Overcome Anxiety The Age of Stress

I have written about sitting in gratitude before. Given the current quarantine situation, I must do it again. I think it is the key to surviving this. Sitting in gratitude does something magical to our perspective. My friend R. John Robbins says, “When you sit in gratitude, it’s impossible to be negative.” I tried it and he is right. So, I decided to make a list of what I am grateful for in the midst of all of this uncertainty: 1. Not wearing high heels since all court is canceled 2. Reading the book I have been waiting to read by Lance Cooper, “Cobalt Cover-Up: The Inside Story of a Deadly Conspiracy at the Largest Car Manufacturer in the World” — it’s really, really good Sitting in Gratitude, Again What are their stressors? Any number of everyday factors can lead to stress, and stress can plague anyone who feels overwhelmed. Toddlers and young children going to day care or school for the first time may experience separation anxiety due to being apart from their parents. Older kids and teenagers may feel mounting social and academic pressure. It’s hard to imagine kids as anything but carefree, happy, and eager to explore the world around them. However, children experience stress just like adults do, which can severely impact their typically cheerful dispositions. Since April is National Stress Awareness Month, now is an opportune time to familiarize yourself with tools and information that can help you alleviate your child’s stress.

Even something as simple as overhearing loved ones arguing or seeing a sad news report can add to a child’s stress levels. Howdo I know ifmy child is stressed? When a kid is stressed, theywill exhibit odd behavior and even undergo physical changes. Depending on your child’s age, watch for mood swings, changes in sleep patterns, headaches, trouble focusing, or withdrawal from the people around them. According to KidsHealth.org, younger children may also pick up habits like twirling their hair or sucking their thumb, while older kids may start to bully others, lie, or rebel. Can I help reduce their stress? According to KidsHealth.org, good nutrition, proper rest, and healthy attention are great

ways to help kids manage their stress. Set time aside each day to talk and spend time with your children; talking about worries will reduce or relieve anxieties. If you know about an upcoming stressful situation, like a school exam or a health checkup, prepare your child by studying with them or talking to them about what to expect. Don’t stop here. For more tools and information regarding stress reduction in children, visit KidsHealth.org or contact your doctor.

3. Finding the waffle maker I got as a wedding gift in 2002 — tucked away in the basement 4. Finally organizing my pantry so I knowwhat I have — most of it was expired 5. Creating the perfect copycat version of the Burger King fried chicken sandwich 6. Creating the perfect copycat version of Otter’s Crazy Fries but substituting tater tots 7. Having ample time to talk to my parents on the phone — we may have cheated a few times and ignored social distancing … 8. Making my famous Christmas sugar cookies in March 9. Spending quality time with our two dogs Sparty and Magic — I think they are wondering why we won’t leave the house 10. Homeschooling the kids — I am really not grateful for this, but I’m hoping if I say it, my attitude will change

Hope you will all take the time to make a list as well. I know it’s a difficult time. But, trust me, it will make you feel better.

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