It’s the end of the year and you and your child are ready for summer break. It’s normal for kids to get burnt out after a year of hard work, especially if your child is busy or overscheduled.
But you and your child don’t have to wait for summer to escape the stress. You just need to have the right tools in your Learning Coach Toolbox to address the issue. In this case, you can create your own Stress Management Kit.
A Stress Management Kit contains the supplies you need to combat school stress when it starts to take hold. You know some strategies for fighting stress, but it’s easier to execute them when you and your child can take out the kit and find the items you need.
Your “kit” can be held in a decorated shoebox, a basket, an old pillowcase, or any other container that works for you. Below are some of the things you can put in your kit.
- A notepad. If your child feels overwhelmed, have him or her make a list of things he or she is worried about. Then you can discuss how to handle those worries and create a to-do list. Knowing exactly what has to be done can help set your child’s mind at ease.
- A list of healthy snacks. Chocolate or other types of candy might taste especially good when you or your child is under pressure, but you don’t want to indulge harmful sugar cravings. Instead, choose some brain foods, like a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit, that gives you energy to tackle the day’s challenges.
- Relaxing music. Add a CD of classical music or nature sounds to the kit so you can play it when your child needs to relax. You can even encourage your child to play an instrument.
- Art supplies. Sometimes, sketching an object or assembling a craft is just what your child needs to take his or her mind off of a tough problem. Add some pencils, markers, and a drawing pad that your child can quickly pull out of the kit when it’s time to switch gears.
- A journal. Does your child need some time alone? Give him or her a personal journal. He or she can jot down thoughts, concerns, and ideas. Just writing things down and expressing a jumble of feelings can help clear your child’s head.
- A list of fun exercises. Make sure to work breaks into your schedule and have your child’s favorite exercise prop handy—like a Hula-Hoop, jumping rope, or basketball—to blow off some steam during recess time. Having time for noncompetitive play is important for children of all ages.