Healthy Coping Habits for Kids

June 5th, 2017 by Live Well Omaha Kids

Live Well Omaha Kids knows that every day isn’t always sunshine and roses – that’s why we reached out to our friends at Boys Town to learn more about healthy ways to deal with stress. Their tips align well the 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® Healthy Kids Countdown message of staying active and eating well!

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School child. African girl writing in notebook.

When things aren’t going well at home or at school, it’s natural for children to want to engage in activities that give them pleasure and make them feel comfortable. Unfortunately, it can become all too easy for a stressed-out child to turn to video games, junk food or a combination of both to relieve anxiety. While these things may be relatively harmless in small doses, if they become a coping mainstay in a child’s life, long-term damage may occur.

Instead of allowing your children to find comfort in these potentially harmful activities, why not suggest some alternatives that will not only help them deal with the negative situation they’re experiencing but also allow them to learn and grow as people? For a full list of alternative coping skills, see this helpful tool.

Get Some Exercise

Exercise is a simple, positive way to reduce stress. So, instead of your children “running” around a virtual battlefield killing aliens in a video game, you might suggest they go for a run around the neighborhood. Yoga is another great way to relieve anxiety and improve the body and mind.

The Healing Power of Pets

The simple act of playing with a pet can do a world of good when it comes to reducing stress. For instance, throwing an old tennis ball to the family dog in the backyard can help divert your child’s mind from negative situations (plus it has the advantage of exercising the pooch).

Find Your Own Fun

There are many other activities that can help ease your child’s anxiety or anger while improving their physical and/or intellectual selves. All it takes is a little creative thinking and some forethought. If you have a young one prone to anxiety, anger or other stress, consider putting together a list of possible activities that can help them blow off a little steam or at least divert their attention for a while. That way, you’ll be ready with healthy alternatives to video games and junk food when the time comes. In fact, why not let your child help you with the list? That’s a coping activity in and of itself!



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