GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Stress is an inevitable part of life for people of any age. But there comes a time when stress becomes toxic and a risk to learning and development.
Psychologist and "Mom Enough" podcast host Dr. Marti Erickson joined KARE 11 Saturday with three things parents can do to teach their kids resilience.
Be the secure base for your child at every age
"Be the safe, trusted person kids can come to for comfort, a willingness to listen, and calm support in building coping skills and problem-solving strategies," Dr. Erickson suggested.
See through the eyes of your child
"When you see signs of stress, be curious about the reasons, the context of what is going on with your child and what feelings might underlie their actions – their fussiness, irritability, sassiness, withdrawal, aggression," Dr. Erickson said. "We often tend to think of a child as simply “behaving badly,” when their behavior is a reaction to stress, and they need to understand that and find a better way to deal with it. Rather than imposing consequences or punishment, realize they may need empathy, thoughtful guidance and reflection on better ways to manage their stress."
Model healthy coping and learn with and from your child
"Be mindful of what your kids are learning from how you deal with stress," Dr. Erickson said. "Actions speak louder than words. Also, as kids get older, brainstorm together about how the whole family can manage stress and problems in a healthy way. Are you stressed a lot because you’ve said yes to too many commitments? Are you struggling to get along with a co-worker or an unreasonable boss? What if you ask your child or teen for their ideas about how to cope? By offering guidance, they may learn even better how to handle similar situations themselves?"
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