“What have you got to be stressed about? You’re only 5!” I’ve heard many parents utter these words but the fact is children feel stress the same as adults except it effects their developing brains.
‘When we put too much stress on children we reduce their ability to think, rationalise and tune into their instincts & enjoy good health’ Jane Evans - Childhood trauma expert
By giving your child coping strategies you are giving them lifelong skills to protect their health. Emotional literacy is so important for this.
Think about how you vocalise stress, model your own strategies to them “Mum/Dad is frustrated because I’ve got all this cleaning to do. I’m going to take 10 deep slow breaths to help the funny feeling in my tummy and chest to go away.”
You may feel awkward at first but consistently modelling and vocalising how you manage these feelings gives your children permission to vocalise their own and gives them strategies to help cope with them.
Stress is something we all feel in life, it's unavoidable so the sooner we start developing ways to deal with stress the better equipped we are for life.
Please do get in touch with any questions
Jennifer Wyman is founder of Bridge the Gap and an emotional education consultant and trainer. A qualified early years practitioner and mum of two with over 21 years experience within the early years sector.