9 Parent Tips to Teach Children to Manage Stress

Traditionally, many school-aged children love school and look forward to start of a new school year. But for other children, it’s also a time of great stress. In fact, stress—those overwhelming feelings of doubt about ourselves or our ability to handle things—is as common in children as adults.

The greatest challenge to parents today is teaching children to manage stress effectively. Children may react to excess stress with behavior that seems immature, inappropriate, or even disturbing. One child exhibits anxiety and tears the night before going back to school. Another child speaks of new teacher and asks her parents questions while trying to imagine the teacher's personality. Another child enjoys shopping for school clothes and looks forward to seeing new friends. 

Stress can be terrifying to children who lack the emotional maturity or experience to understand and deal with it. The challenge for parents, teachers, and other caretakers include how to recognize signs of stress in children of different ages, how to know when stress threatens to overwhelm a child, and what to do about it.

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In Nurture Your Child’s Gift, I offer excellent suggestions to help parents cope with their children’s stress. A stressed-out condition can result from a specific cause or from life in general. Here are some examples:

  • At 17, Jen was a high school senior expecting to graduate with honors in the Spring. Just before Christmas, however, Jen’s father lost his job and the family had to move into the basement of a cousin’s house. Jen soon developed a severe allergy, then asthma. The illness cost her so much time from school that she required home-schooling to make up the difference.
  • Mark was only two when his parents divorced. Confused, Mark wandered the house, calling plaintively for his father, but weekends with Dad made him cry. Most weekends, Mark developed upset stomachs that were so bad he’d miss preschool on Mondays.

Age-Related Stressors

Toddlers need to feel safe and comfortable. Stress for preschool children can arise from a new face at home or at day care, the disappearance of a familiar face, visiting lots of new places at once, or abrupt changes in the family’s structure, relationships or daily routine.
During the grade-school years, children become concerned with pleasing people like teachers, parents, guardians and coaches. School life—even a change in assigned seating or having to take a test—brings higher levels of stress every year. And when it comes to peers, even the threat of diminished acceptance is terrifying. Sleep-overs, birthday parties, sporting events and music competitions can trigger stressful reactions.
Through middle school and beyond, the pressures kids feel from parents, teachers, peers, society at large, and from within increases. Children have to learn adapt to these pressures. Because they have grown in their intelligence, curiosity and knowledge of community, demands for their attention, time, energy and effort can often feel like a tug of war. As in the cases of Mark and Jen, it is not unusual for life-altering events to express themselves in illness. At the University of Missouri, for instance, researcher Mark Flinn found that a child’s risk of upper-respiratory infection increases by 200 percent for the seven days following a high-stress event. And parents like Miranda’s might confuse what they believe are normal behavior with an expression of anxiety. Children often display their tensions in small acts that have aggressive undertones.

How You Can Help

  1. There are many ways parents can help their children deal with stress and stressful situations.
  2. Don’t try to fix everything for the child, and avoid offering advice. Sometimes just listening so that your child feels truly heard may be enough to relieve the stress.
  3. As you listen, ask questions that encourage your child to think a situation through. “What’s the next step?” or “How would you handle that?” are good questions. Ask a lot of “what-if” questions, too.
  4. Help children listen to themselves. Nurture Your Child’s Gift suggests quiet-time techniques for children to listen to nature sounds like rain or waves upon the beach, to their own heartbeat, or to recordings of whales, dolphins or birds.
  5. Encourage children to spend time listening to their thoughts. When they feel free to speak their own thoughts aloud about a situation, things suddenly become clear.
  6. Nurture Your Child’s Gift details a diaphragmatic breathing exercise for kids and parents. Shallow breathing is associated with the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. Deeper, effective breathing produces feelings of relaxation and calm.
  7. Use soothing and rhythmic music, even simple drumming, to help your child relieve muscle tension. It works!
  8. Don’t overlook exercise for releasing stress and tension. It works for your child just as it does for you. Have children walk the dog, get on the treadmill or stretch through easy yoga movements for children.  Any movement they enjoy will help ease stress away.
  9. Parents can do much to alleviate stress in their children’s lives. Effectively dealing with your own stress is the first step. Showing your kids how to release their stress comes next.

 

Copyright © Caron B. Goode.

Parent Coaching Skills for Transformation

What if your calling to support parents and children were your career? The value ACPI provides extends far beyond the monetary aspects of the parent coaching skills training and the profession. Being a parent coach is exciting and inspiring, but how exactly does it add value to you, the coach?

Being a Parenting Coach is one path to freedom of time and better-earning power if you are committed to success as a helping professional. This option strengthens your character and fulfills your motivation and moral and social values. Learning coaching skills and ethics offers rewarding experiences. Or, learning consultant planning sharpens your mind and lights the fire of curiosity again.

As Richard Branson states, you just have to say yes to a novel opportunity.

“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
― Richard Branson

Learning parent coaching skills can be life-changing, and not just for the families with whom you interact, but also for yourself. You might feel that parent coaching is your calling, so you help others in your parenting and friendship circles. When your satisfaction grows, the calling pulls you even further into the possibility of working at home for yourself. Think of the possibilities!

[tweetshareinline tweet="The wonder of being pulled toward your journey is unparalleled. The idea of coaching stays in your mind and you mull it over." username="parent_coach"]

Learning Enhances Earning Power

A good teacher or mentor is a life-long learner. Learning adds value to

  • How you feel emotionally
  • What you do
  • How you respond to others
  • IHow you increase your confidence and personal esteem

Your temperament and values motivate you to seek opportunities to use your natural skills like listening. You are a helper like a coach, a counselor, a teacher, a nurturer. You look for new challenges like coaching that broaden your knowledge and expand your skill set. By temperament, you are often called to teach, share, support, negotiate, and help.

Bringing your natural temperament traits into a profession like coaching engages your heart, which any job must do. If your heart is not engaged, you lose interest. If you are not seeing progress and achievements in your sphere of life, then consider parent coaching.

 

The Sense of Giving Back

The most satisfying act for a nurturer is knowing you have contributed to society in an effective way. Even better is knowing that the changes you have made have a long-term effect. By helping families and parents to strengthen their bonds, you offer them better connection and communication skills which can become their best habits.

You are assisting parents in raising their children as emotionally healthy individuals with ethical and moral values. There can’t be anything more satisfying and rewarding than knowing you help influence three generations of parents and children. However, the coaching skills are very different from giving advice.

The Client-Coach Relationship

  • As a mentor and coach, you know your clients on a personal, intimate level. They will share their emotional struggles and problems with you.
  • You are wired to be an empathetic listener who can understand and feel what the client is experiencing.
  • This requires developing a strong emotional bond with the customers.
  • You learn to build a relationship to help your clients heal, grow, and refine their focus and actions. This is missing in self-help parenting books and resources. That is what gives coaches an edge.

Taking Multiple Roles as a Consultant, Coach, or Mentor

As a parent coach, you are not just a counselor; you are a mentor who listens, teaches, educates, supports and transforms. Parent coaching skills can be defined as a set of excellent listening, coaching, and counseling skills. It is a universal skill set that will help you throughout your professional and personal endeavors in every walk of life.

However, you need to acquire the skills set required to become a good parent coach and reap the real value of being a mentor. You can start now by enrolling in Academy for Coaching Parents.

Be a Certified Coach

Is Parent Coaching the Right Self-Employment Option For You?

Parent coaching has all the right stuff. As a career, it offers flexibility, personal satisfaction, and unlimited earning potential. It is also one of the fastest growing home based businesses today. This makes it ideal for parents, career switchers, and retirees, but is it right for you?

Parent coaches come from all walks of life. They are teachers and therapists. They are mothers, fathers, and grandparents. They are former corporate leaders and nine-to-five refugees. They have in common an intense desire to help parents get the most out of family life.

"Coaching is solution-oriented," says seasoned parent and lifestyle coach Natalie Gahrmann. "It is not someone just guessing. It is, ´Tell me about the problem, then tell me what you are going to do about it.´ If you don´t know what to do about it, I can help you with that, but don´t tell me there is nothing you can do about it and you are stuck here as a victim."

Characteristics of a Good Parent Coaching

A successful coach/client partnership is built from the ground up and is essential to the entire coaching process. To help parents reach their personal or family goals, a coach must be able to develop a trusting and respectful relationship with the client. It is at this point that she can begin to chip away at the parent´s insecurity, which gives parents the confidence to handle problems and reach their desired goals.

"A parent coach is someone who partners with you to help you remove all your fears of parenting," says veteran parent coach Peggy Alvarado. "They help you gain the confidence to raise the type of children you always wished them to be."

Alvarado, a former software technology executive, believes that even though each person has a unique coaching style, there are certain characteristics all good parent coaches share. They include:

Inquisitiveness. Parent coaches must have an inquisitive nature. They need to be able to ask thoughtful questions that require action-oriented answers. "It isn´t just about listening," says Gahrmann. "It is also about being provocative and helping people get to a new place. I help people find their solutions, and together we come up with the action to do that."

Objectivity. Parent coaching is about maintaining objectivity when it comes to clients and their situations. Coaches are not friends who are called upon for unconditional support. They are people who you enlist to help you define your goals and help you devise an action plan to meet those goals. They are someone you depend on to see all the picture and support you in the decisions you make.

parent coachingAssertiveness. Parent coaches must be assertive enough to challenge their clients and ask questions that demand answers. "There is a synergy that happens between people that helps come up with other solutions," says Gahrmann. "Some people say I can do A or B, and they are often opposite ends of the spectrum, but if I say well what if you do this, the next thing you know, they have ten choices in front of them."

Openness. Having an open nature is one of the greatest attributes any parent coach can have. Coaches are open-minded in regards to people, situations, and themselves. Coaches must be open to all people in all stages of life, but they also are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. They must realize that no one person can ever know everything or be the most non-judgmental or objective you can be.

Curiosity. Parent coaches are curious people and are interested in learning about their clients, their situations, and what resources and information are available to them. Coaches are continually working to find new approaches and solutions for their clients and themselves. They are always learning and interested in learning because parent coaching is a continuing education field. There are still ways to develop yourself and learn.

If you feel a calling to start a new profession as a trained and certified Parent Coach, visit parent-family coaching course page to understand how you can achieve this goal in six to nine months.

Get Into The Parent Coaching Profession

Your Invitation To Parenting Coaching!

Why Do Families Need Coaches?

Training and raising a child could be as challenging as managing a little league baseball team, or a parent may not have had a healthy role model to follow. They may have learned parenting skills through trial and error.

How to Help Formulate Change?

 

A human being’s beliefs about him/herself and the surrounding world have been programmed by eight years of age.

Building on the knowledge that we cannot change anyone else, the goal of parent coaching is to understand and formulate change in the situation, environment, the mindset or context of the event.

 

Too Much Gray?

Sometimes parenting's black-and-white rules are more like gray areas where circumstances, temperaments, and environments need definitions or boundaries. A parenting coach offers a fresh set of eyes, a different view, and the right questions  for clarity.

 

Clarify the Game Rules?

Coaching teaches empowerment and growth through honest examination of values and goals. Also, you clarify or define the rules of the game to make life more pleasant for the entire family. Parenting coaching lessens the conflict and trauma.

 

Culture, Content, or Conflict?

Coaching involves a person's mind, body, emotions and spirit, as well as the social and cultural context of a situation.

The roots of family conflicts  may be in relationships, lowered self-esteem, unhealthy thinking, or academic underachievement.

 

 

 

Is Now Your Time?

If parent coaching is on your mind, then turn your interest into your passion and learn the things you need to know about the profession.

What Are Your Natural Talents?

What you should know is that good parenting coaches come from all the walks of life. Most of them share the same characteristics. Do you have these natural traits or skills?

Your Heart Skills?

  • Compassion: do you love encouraging others and genuinely like people?
  • Passion: do you have a passion for all things parenting?
  • Curiosity: are you constantly curious about children and how to support positive behavior and growth? 

How Is Your Motivation?

  • Good listening ability: are you a good listener and like listening to people who express their challenges?
  • Empathy: Are you comfortable giving them space and time to express their worries.
  • Self-motivation: are you keen to have a career that nourishes from the inside, gives you a purpose, and improves your parenting skills.

Are Your A People Person?

Every parenting coach understands that the child-parent relationship is the major influence on the important aspects of a child’s development. During the coaching conversation, you  help the parent understand and discover constructive ways to address different situations that are causing concern.

Do Your Skills Fit Their Needs?

Assist others to identify their goals and strengths. Help them design action steps to attaining parenting goals by providing resources, information and positive affirmation. Encourage parents to discover and address stressors and challenges that may impact them and their children.

The Academy Invites You...

You are invited to join the Academy for Coaching Parents International that offers training and certification.