This article is in partnership with Stress Health, an initiative of the Center for Youth Wellness. However, all opinions are my own.
Stress is everywhere. While many of us tend to think that stress starts and stops with us, it just isn’t the truth. Children, no matter what their age, deal with all different levels of stress as well. Did you know that there are actually different varieties of stress that your little ones can be experiencing?
Toxic stress, which I’ll explain soon, is prevalent in children these days, As parents, we should all be aware of it so that we can help address, overcome and assist them. In our household, I’ve found that the best way to overcome stress overload and boost confidence in my children is to have them participate in physical activities and sports.
Here are the ways that these activities help create a confidence in my children that shines brightly each and every day.
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Physical activities such as sports can be a great way for your children to learn to combat and overcome stress. Not only do they provide great outlets for energy, but they help to build confidence.
Being active in sports can help children trust their decision-making skills.
Not being able to make decisions can be extremely stressful — and, to be completely honest, some kids have never been in a situation where they’ve had the chance to make their own decisions. Physical activities help children find their inner strength and confidence to trust and make decisions on the go. How many times has there been a game where the players had to make a last minute call? Too many to count. When your children grow up being active in sports, they will learn to develop and trust this ability as well.
Playing sports can be a great stress reliever for children.
Sports are a great way to stay active and burn energy, but did you know that sports are also also a great way to relieve stress? If your children are having a hard day, or have something on their mind that is giving them grief, spending time running up and down the field or court surrounded by supportive teammates is a wonderful way to try and alleviate some of that stress. According to Stress Health, stress overload in children is a real cause for concern and finding a physical activity that can help them is important!
Did you know that there are actually three different types of stress that your child could experience during their life?
Positive Stress is actually pretty common and can occur on a daily basis. When your child is experiencing nerves about schoolwork or a change in their daily routine, it is typically called positive stress. The main thing to remember about positive stress is that children’s bodies are equipped to handle it themselves, making it a stress process that is overcome from within.
Tolerable Stress is just like it sounds…stress that is tolerable. This type of feeling occurs during situations that are a little scarier for kids, such as getting hurt during a sporting event or being in the middle of a scary situation, like a severe storm. Children’s bodies tend to get a rush of emotions that help them get through this feeling of stress and can help build resistance to it.
Toxic Stress is serious. It stems from neglect, severe loss, or abuse, both physical and/or mental. It can actually overwhelm children’s brains, causing them lifelong stress, behavior issues, and anxiety.
Learn to be there appropriately for your child when they are experiencing symptoms of stress. The sooner you can recognize that they need your help and guidance, the better. Having them join in sports or other physical activities may be a great way for them to focus on building up their confidence and overcoming some of those tolerable stresses that may arise!
Check out this video on how childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris.