Everyone deals with anxiety at some point - even kids. They’re always encountering new things and new experiences. Sometimes the unknown leads to bravery, and other times it leads to fear and anxiousness. Helping your children relax is essential to their development and making sure they excel. It will help them enjoy life, do well in school, play well with others, and ultimately make the most out of themselves.
Being a parent is a hard job. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to parenting and it is especially difficult to watch your child struggle or deal with stressful situations. We have some recommendations on what you can try to help your child relax during those difficult times. So while not all of these techniques might not work for you and your little one, maybe a few of them will hit the mark and you’ll be able to make a happier home for you and your kiddo.
Help Them Get Great Sleep
We know: easier said than done. Getting a child to sleep is the Great White Whale of parenting. But a kid who gets quality sleep is a kid who will typically be able to handle the stresses of life and get through difficult days without meltdowns. Some tips for making sure your kids get good sleep are:
- Make sure they’re on a schedule. When everything else around them seems chaotic, if their bodies know their internal schedule, then they’ll be one step closer to better sleep.
- Have a bedtime routine. Psychologists recommend that kids have a 30-45 minute wind down routine to help them get to bed. If this involves a bath and books, that’s great. If it’s songs and storytelling, wonderful. Whatever it is, make it routine and something they can count one.
- Give them familiar surroundings. We know they love their room, but if you’re traveling to grandma’s or a hotel, make sure they have something special from their bed that helps them get to sleep.
Encourage Game Play
Life isn’t all about work, even for adults, but especially for kids. Kids need to have a chance to play. Kids need this more often than you might think. They need breaks to get out and run, or sit down and read, or play with toys. Life can’t be simply the monotony of daily routine. Kids need to allow their imaginations to run wild. And it’s important that this isn’t just something that you fit into the empty spaces of the day - make sure that it’s planned and scheduled, so they know they’ll get play time and can look forward to it and relish it.
Schedule Relaxing Activities
As with the previous one, kids need a schedule, but aside from gameplay, they also need down time. Kids may not want to nap, but they may want to cuddle up next to you on the couch to read a book for ten minutes, or snuggle down in a beanbag chair and watch fifteen minutes of their favorite educational cartoon.
CBD Oil Therapies
We all know that CBD can be relaxing for us, but did you know that it can be just as effective in your kids? And there are plenty of safe ways for you to give your kids CBD. One of kids’ favorite ways to consume CBD is through gummies -what kid doesn’t love gummies? -but CBD oil can be mixed with food to be a good mood enhancer for a child who is stressed out or ready to break down. CBD has hundreds of uses, but relieving stress is one many people swear by.
Try the Naternal Ease CBD gummies, which were Made for Millie. Mille is our oldest. She is a deep feeling child - and that can be hard. Growing up isn't easy. So we made something to help make those intense times a little bit easier. If you are looking for a THC-free CBD oil instead, then try our 600mg broad spectrum oil.
Remember: start low and go slow. Don’t go for a high dose right out of the gate (and CBD should never be used as an emergency dose to stop a panic attack. CBD can relieve anxiety and even panic, but you want to be in control when you administer it--not acting desperately and risking giving too much.) Consult your manufacturers’ recommendations for the correct dose for their age and weight.
Reward Brave Behaviors
It may be the quick knee-jerk reaction to punish bad behaviors, but it’s much more effective to reward brave behavior. When your child does something that’s outside their comfort zone, immediately celebrate their victory. If your child does well getting a shot at the doctor, or isn’t scared to be left with a babysitter, or even tramps out in the rain to pick up worms from the sidewalk - all of these are behaviors that take a child out of their normal world and into a new one. It’s the first step on the road to independence.
Encourage Your Child to Communicate About Anxieties
A child who can talk about what scares them is a child who won’t let their fears control them. When your child expresses concern about something, don’t brush it aside and tell them they’ll be fine. Get down on their level and talk about it. Let them know that it’s okay to be scared and that they can tell you about their worries anytime. Giving them an open route of communication means that you’re the person they’re going to turn to when there’s a problem - they’re not going to hide their worries and bottle them up.
When you’re dealing with a kid who is out of control with anxiety and worry, remember that you’re the adult. You’re the voice of reason. You’re the person whose behavior that child emulates and observes more than anyone else’s. If you can keep your head when your child is losing theirs, they’ll be better able to mimic your calm demeanor and let their emotions lower back down to a baseline level.
Make Family Meals a Priority
Kids do well with structure, and they also do well when the family is together. Whether that’s just you and your child, or a whole house of relatives, having a meal time routine is a chance for everyone to come together, to laugh, and to tell stories. It’s a time to reset and simply enjoy each other, and your child will appreciate it and incorporate it into their life.
Take Mini Escapes
You can’t take a vacation every day, but you can plan mini escapes - something special that you do with your little one every so often to break up the difficulties of school and chores and everything else. Maybe that’s building a blanket fort and climbing inside to read a book. Or maybe that’s heading outside when it’s snowing for a snowball fight. Or maybe it’s a warm treat and a trip through the family photo album. Any of these things can break up a child’s day and snap them out of their anxious routine and help them reset.
A child needs something they can hold onto. When they’re little, it may be a blanket or a stuffed animal (and maybe they keep that item even when they’re older). But as kids get older it might be a fidget cube, or a lucky charm, or anything that they can keep in their pocket to ground them. Having something they can grab hold of when they’re worried puts them in the frame of mind that they’re in a safe space.
Listen to Music
Listening to music is a great way to lighten the mood. Some days call for more calm, instrumental style music, while other days need to be spent listening to music you can dance to. This is a natural and fun way to help children center their minds, even on their toughest days.
In addition to CBD, there are several other supplements that a child can take that help them calm down.
- Magnesium deficiency has been linked to anxiety. Magnesium can be enhanced using a daily supplement, or can be incorporated in healthy snacks like pumpkin, sunflower or sesame seeds.
- Omega-3 Fatty acids have been shown in countless studies to have benefits to depression and anxiety. Your child may not like fish, but a fish oil supplement can go a long way.
- B Vitamin Complex has been found to be linked to anxiety in adults, and while it hasn’t been studied as extensively in children, it’s definitely worth looking into. B vitamins can be found in many foods such as nuts, lean meats, berries, broccoli, bananas, cheese, and much more.