Smile AM Parenting - Raising Happy, Stress-Free Kids

Smile AM

Smile AM can be used as a powerful communicative tool, to express love and happiness.

Children are highly attuned to their parents' moods and language; they also notice any feelings of stress or anxiety experienced by either parent.

Lori Lite is the creator of Stress-Free Kids, an award-winning line of books, CDs, and lesson plans to help children, teens, and adults reduce stress and anger. Her practical tips have been featured on Shark Tank and Family Circle among numerous publications.

1. Practice Self-Care

Children often mimic their parents in engaging in self-care behaviors like exercise, eating healthily, and getting enough rest - something that parents who prioritize their well-being can also do more effectively in managing stress and creating an atmosphere of love and support for their kids.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, instilling healthy habits of self-care in your child may help them better deal with life's stresses and become more capable and confident individuals. Recognizing negative feelings will allow them to address them directly instead of letting emotions overcome them. Meditation and mindful movement practices such as yoga are excellent ways to teach kids how to control their breathing, relax their muscles, and focus on the present moment.

One excellent way to help your child practice self-care is to encourage them to find an activity or hobby they find enjoyable, whether that is learning music, taking up sports, art or dance classes, or anything else they are good at - anything which gives them pride of achievement and reduces stress levels! By becoming interested in something they excel at and have a passion for pursuing this way they may develop new confidence while simultaneously decreasing stress levels.

Reconnecting them with nature is another effective way to teach your children how to relax and de-stress. Too much screen time can increase anxiety, depression, and obesity among children - so encourage yourself to get outside by playing in your yard or going on hikes!

Self-care for kids can be easy if guided by their parents. Even five minutes alone per day will help recharge batteries and cope with everyday stresses more effectively.

2. Create a Stress-Free Environment

While external stressors such as bullying, relationships, and schoolwork cannot be eliminated completely, you can provide your children with a safe, loving environment in which they can learn how to cope. You can do this by creating stability for them through emotional support as well as encouraging physical activity.

Pressure can actually help children become more resilient; however, excessive stress is detrimental. One of the key roles you as a parent should fulfill is teaching children effective coping mechanisms to handle their anxiety.

Example activities might include deep breathing exercises, journal writing, walking the dog or simply playing with friends. You could also help them identify triggers - what causes them to feel stressed or worried - so they can devise a plan to eliminate those sources of anxiety.

Make sure your children get enough rest and relaxation. Overscheduled children can become anxious when there is not enough downtime; make sure they exercise frequently -- nothing helps relieve stress better!

Your role model can also show them how to manage stress more effectively. Children learn by imitating how adults cope with life's difficulties; if you find it hard to cope with your own strain, this could have an adverse impact on them as well.

3. Practice Positive Discipline

Positive discipline is a parenting approach designed to enable children to flourish while feeling respected and valued, creating a healthier family environment, and developing important life skills.

Consistency is one of the key components of effective positive discipline. Parents can make this easier by setting clear rules and consequences, communicating expectations, and creating routines within their home environment to establish a consistent, nurturing home environment that makes positive discipline more effective and manageable.

Positive discipline relies heavily on respectful communication. This involves acknowledging your child's feelings, encouraging the expression of thoughts, and addressing questions or concerns as soon as they arise. By listening actively and responding accordingly, positive discipline interactions will become even more effective over time.

When disciplining children, it's also important to keep in mind that they aren't miniature adults and may make mistakes. Instead of punishing misbehavior directly, consider teaching your child how they can adjust their behavior to avoid further incidents.

Instead of sending your child to time-out when making poor choices, try taking them on a walk or reading together instead. This allows them to unwind while providing an opportunity for you to discuss why their actions were not acceptable.

Finalize any consequences related to misbehavior that take into account your child's age and level of development, for instance, a two-year-old may respond better to being reminded verbally to pick up toys rather than losing television privileges as punishment. Furthermore, negative language such as "I told you so" will only serve to embarrass them further, leading to power struggles between parent and child.

4. Create a Closer Connection with Your Child

Strong relationships between parents and their children provide children with a sense of security, encouraging them to follow rules and respect boundaries more easily. Parent who love and cherish their kids also experience more satisfaction from parenting efforts - which makes all their hard work worthwhile.

Develop an intimate bond with your child by approaching him or her on their level. For instance, if your toddler enjoys building with blocks on the floor or reading them a story while they play. For older kids who enjoy board games as family traditions on weekends.

Spending quality one-on-one time with each child helps build stronger bonds and increase self-esteem. This could involve simple activities such as playing a game of hide-and-seek or tossing a ball around, or more complex arrangements like setting aside special times just for each of your children such as "date nights".

When your child shares his or her emotions and opinions with you, be sure to listen attentively without passing judgment on them. Doing this shows your appreciation of their input while encouraging continued dialogue in the future.

If it's hard to connect with your children, try cutting back on how long they spend in front of screens, particularly during meals or family activities. This will allow them to focus more on you, making communication with them simpler. Hugging and cuddling regularly also help them feel safe - these simple interactions have great potential to strengthen relationships between both parties involved!

5. Encourage Communication

Children whose parents are less stressed tend to be happier as well, as this allows them to communicate easily with one another and avoid tension-filled interactions that lead to miscommunication and misunderstandings between parent and child. Children also feel more at ease expressing their ideas, thoughts, and problems when their parent doesn't seem overwhelmed with stress themselves.

Children should be encouraged to speak casually to their parents, even if talking isn't one of their preferred activities. This will enable them to open up and relax. Teachers and students must establish effective means of communication among themselves: this could involve creating a survey at the start of each school year or scheduling an introductory call or Google form; in some schools, parents are even invited into classrooms for question-and-answer periods or whole class visits.

As well as this, students should make it clear to teachers that they feel welcome to share any concerns in a safe and secure environment. This may involve providing them with contact details like an email or phone number of how to reach the school; setting up special times for parent-teacher conferences; or organizing conferences such as Young Scholars Academy which offers parent conferences where parents can discuss their children's progress while learning how to support them better at home.

Consideration of these tips can assist educators and parents in creating an environment free from stress for their children. While it's normal to experience some level of stress from time to time, if symptoms persist it may be wiser to seek professional assistance for extreme or overwhelming levels.


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