If you were to tell someone that you were “stressed out,” the other person may not think twice about trying to understand where you were coming from. Kids under 12 years of age may not get this level of understanding about their stress because many deem their lives as too “easy” to get distressed to that degree. It is important to understand that kids this age do deal with varying levels of distress in their lives, to where they need to give it attention. Kids will experience psychological and physical symptoms of distress that they may not be capable of handling just yet, because they are young and inexperienced with doing so. That is why it is necessary for youth to learn positive coping skills at this point in their lives.
Why is Stress Management Important for Kids?
Managing stress is something to pay attention to due to children’s developmental level. Their brains and behaviors are not fully developed yet to handle distress that comes into their lives. They experience a “fight or flight” response like adults do, but they are not knowledgeable enough to always handle their stress in constructive ways. Therefore, it is appropriate to have stress management skills taught to kids so that they are able to handle distress later on in their lives. It is appropriate so that kids learn how to build resiliency through the tougher challenges that life will bring so that they can react in proportion to the intensity of the events that they experience.
As adults, we have the ability to positively shape the way in which our kids handle day to day stress. We can coach them on using stress reduction techniques as we would with any other set of skills. We have the opportunity to model the usage of positive coping skills in their presence while encouraging them to do the same through praise and recognition. If we do these things consistently with our children, then that gives them the best chance to handle their distress. This is the philosophy that is emphasized through the walls of Perspectives.
How Perspectives Can Help
Perspectives of Troy Counseling Centers have a great number of child therapists on staff that are skilled at teaching positive coping skills to kids to help them deal with distress in their lives. This is done through individual therapy, as well as groups and workshops like Stress Busters, which is a five-hour workshop in which coping skills are worked on with children ages 8-12 years old. The child therapists that are on staff at Perspectives are well-trained at communicating with children about stress so they can understand at their own developmental level. Parents are welcomed as a part of the treatment process in order to reinforce the skills that are being taught at home. Different treatment modalities can be utilized by our staff to help kids with stress management, including cognitive behavioral therapy and solution-focused behavioral therapy. While these are common methods to help with this sort of issue, we as a staff also believe in helping a child based on their own individual needs.
If you or someone you know could benefit from anxiety therapy or the Stress Busters Workshop for Kids, call Perspectives Counseling Centers at 248-244-8644.