Children Facing Challenges
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Open Communication with Children During Troubled Times
Keeping Your Family First
Your child does not live in a bubble. Tell your child the truth about family matters and crises. If you do not provide honest and simple accounts of a stressful event, your child may create an even more alarming explanation. Explanations that are simple, accurate, and at the proper level of understanding are best.
Talk with your child about his or her concerns. Knowing that their worries can be expressed helps relieve some of the pressure as well as build a more rewarding parent-child relationship. Discussing how others coped with a similar situation in the past, your family can view stress as an opportunity to grow or make a change.
Involve your child in decision-making and problem-solving when dealing with sources of stress. Instead of trying to shield your children from stress, try to instill in them a strong sense of self and teach them skills to use when they're having a rough time. This will encourage your child's feelings of power and control. Sources of stress will be with your child throughout life. By providing your child the necessary tools for handling stress now, you will be helping him or her to cope with stress better as he grows older.
Encourage your child to participate in physical activity when pressures seem ready to explode. Whenever possible, join your child in biking, swimming, running or gardening.
Be generous with hugs, kisses and other signs of affection. Your child needs love and understanding more than ever during troubled times.
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Photo Credit - Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources - University of Nebraska-Lincoln