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Preventing Childhood Obesity By Teaching Your Child To Manage Stress

People think that only adults have to deal with stress, but children are also dealing with much more stress than their parents dealt with at their age. Listed below are three ways to help your child deal with the stresses of life. We should also take into consideration that not all stress is bad and some things that we normally don’t think as stressful are. Any type of change contains stress, especially anything that is new or unknown to us.

Children experience these same stresses but do not have ways and means of dealing with them. To adults this appears as crankiness, rebelliousness and behavior that causes us stress. It is up to us as parents and caregivers to teach them about what they are experiencing  and how to recognize it as well as some age appropriate actions that they can take. It is also up to us to manage and have productive ways of dealing with our own stress, that way we are able to deal with our children. Fortunately the suggestions that I will be giving for the children will also work for you.

DIET AND EXERCISE

Although diet and exercise should be obvious, I’d like to remind you of them. First I’d like you to look at exercise differently. Instead of exercise think of how we as a family can move more, how can we play and have fun together and enjoy each other while moving. It doesn’t have to take up a lot of time, starting with 10 minutes is fine. You want to have success early.It is such a great motivator and enables you to  stick with your goal, which is why you want to first establish the habit and then increase the duration.

Playing tag, throwing a freesbie or ball or some sort. These are things that you can do even with toddlers. With toddlers you might want to start out being seated and rolling the ball to them and have them roll it back to you. Popping bubbles is a game that small children especially love. You can run with while blowing the bubbles and they can try and catch you. Games like hop skotch teach children about numbers and also help with balance and coordination. Play the games you love to play as a child that required moving. One of the most important key factors is that it has to be fun and enjoyable. This way there will be a great chance of it becoming a habit.

Make sure you drink plenty of water too and carry a cooler or small lunch bag in your car so that you always have water available. It is also probably a great idea to carry fruit, and healthy snacks, remember chopped up vegetables make a really healthy snack. Adding a small amount of protein will help you stay full longer. Children should always have water readily available as they tend to get thirsty more frequently than adults.

PROPER REST

With adults as well as children and teens it is a good idea to establish a bed time and stick with it 7 days a week. Not doing this causes our rhythm to be off. Not get proper rest effects our moods, and performance. The best time for children to go to bed is around 8 pm. It is best to have a winding down period an hour before the actual bed time. This is one of the biggest reasons that parents have trouble keeping their children in bed. Have a ritual that you do every night this signals to the child what is coming next. The body also needs time to wind down and prepare for sleep too.

WAYS OF DEALING WITH STRESS

1. Acknowledge your child’s feelings and explain them to him/her.

2. Teach them to look on the bright side early.

3. Create an environment where they feel comfortable expressing their feelings to you. For small children ask them to use their words. In the beginning you will have to explain what the words mean. In addition to explaining them point out examples of different emotions when you see them whether it’s on t.v. or in real life. A part of creating a comfortable environment is allowing children to experience their anger.

4. In allowing children to express their anger, it also needs to be explained that they have to express them in an acceptable way by making sure not to harm others or destroy things. You should also give them acceptable ways of dealing with both anger and stress such as journaling, talking to you or deep breathing.

If you use the above suggestions you will find that both you and your children will be able to deal with stress a lot better. Dealing with stress in productive ways helps both you and children not to use food as a way of coping with stress.

I would love to hear how this worked for you or if you have something else that worked for you. You can leave a comment on the blog. For more information on healthy eating and wellness for children get my free report on healthy kids weight loss at http://healthykidsweightloss.com.

10 Responses to “Preventing Childhood Obesity By Teaching Your Child To Manage Stress”

  1. Carolyn Aukafolau says:

    What a great post – I really like your positive approach and practical ideas. Thank you.

    • D'TaRelle F. Tullis says:

      You are so welcome Carolyn. Thank you for reading it and taking the time to comment.

  2. I am a parent of 2 daughters and my youngest has global developmental delay meaning we need to care for her 24/7. Her older sister came to us a few weeks ago feeling very stressed and that we weren’t giving her enough attention. She is 11 years old so we were fortunate to be able to sit down and discuss it calmly with her and tell her. We admitted to her where we could maybe do things differently and then told her where we felt she needed to change her behaviour. The result was an instant turnaround and we are all so much happier as a result.
    I loved reading your tips and I think they are definitely a good way to approach things.

    • D'TaRelle F. Tullis says:

      Good for you Keith, I am happy that you had an instant turnaround so fast. I think that when it all boils down to it we all want the same things. We want time and attention and to be in relationship, to be seen, heard, understood and valued. You did all those things simply by listening, being emotionally available, and allowing her to express her feelings. I am sure this meant a lot to her.

      I am so happy you got value out of it. It is the answer to prayer to be able to give value.

  3. Amy Putkonen says:

    Great ideas, here. Some important points as I often think of kids as being so resilient, but you are right. They have stress just like adults do, but probably do not have as many tools to deal with it.

    • D'TaRelle F. Tullis says:

      You are so right Amy, that’s why I want us to be aware and consider that they are very limited in having tools to help them. What they know is whining, crying, and sometimes biting and hitting depending on the age.

  4. Teresa says:

    Great content. I look forward to hearing more from you.

    • D'TaRelle F. Tullis says:

      Teresa thank you so much. You’ll be hearing from me. 😉

  5. Sarah says:

    I have three small children (aged 2.5, 1.5 and 6 months) and they are constantly up and moving and doing things. People are often commenting on how “busy” my kids are. I have noticed that with most toddlers and smaller children, though. So, my question is, when do we lose that momentum and energy? When does playing like that become more work and not so much fun?

    Thank you so much for your time and consideration in this post, some good information here.
    -Sarah
    familybugs.wordpress.com

    • D'TaRelle F. Tullis says:

      Hi Sarah,
      Thank you for your question. Play is the child’s work, but not like adults think about or feel about work. When we think of work we think, hard, not pleasurable and just ugh and something that we have to do. Kids on the other hand are happy exploring their world and learning how things operate and work. They are really in their imaginations and are connected to their bodies. This is by design by our Creator because movement is what helps the brain to develop. Kids your children’s ages are suppose to be busy and to them it is all play.

      Play becomes work and not so much fun for children when we the parents and adults try to have things a certain way and not allow playing to be just playing. Sometimes we make it into work by creating stress, tension and pressure and being so serious about it.

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