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I don’t remember having a care in the world when I was a kid. My childhood was innocent, blissful, and even a little magical, as all I can remember are the joys of being a kid. Children today don’t seem to have it relatively as easy as we did, which is an absolute shame.
Today’s kids and adolescents seem to have the weight of the world on their shoulders, thanks to the worries of school violence, the pressures of social media, and the inability to play outside without constantly watching over their shoulders. While we cannot take away all of their stress and anxiety, we can help alleviate it with these 12 easy things:
1. Encouraging Open Conversations
There’s something magical about those long, soulful chats over a steaming cup of hot cocoa or tea (or coffee, if you’re me!). Make sure your grandchild knows that you’re always there for them and that you’re ready to listen without judgment. Just letting them voice their fears and worries can be a huge relief for a young, anxious mind.
2. Sharing Your Wisdom
You’ve been there and done that, so you are just the person to help your grandkids! Sharing your own experiences of overcoming hardship can help your grandchild realize that they are not alone in their struggles and that things really do get better with time.
3. Creating a Calm Environment
Your home is not only a sanctuary to you but oftentimes your grandkids. Create a peaceful, cozy atmosphere for your grandchild where they feel safe and comfortable. Soft lights, gentle music, and a tidy space can make a big difference in lowering anxiety levels.
4. Helping with Healthy Habits
How about a little gardening together or a gentle walk in the park? Promote healthy habits like regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep, as these are stress-relieving tools that your grandkids can use forever. These will not only keep your grandchild physically healthy but also positively impact their overall mental health!
5. Introducing Mindfulness Practices
Teach your grandbabies the art of mindfulness, a la breathing exercises, or via quiet moments watching birds in the garden. These seemingly little habits can help them stay grounded when things feel overwhelming.
6. Baking Therapy
There’s something truly therapeutic about kneading dough or frosting cookies. Cooking or baking together can serve as a fun, calming activity, plus it provides an opportunity for quality bonding time with you, their very own Devoted Grandma.
7. Indulging in Arts and Crafts
Partaking in arts and crafts can be just as soothing as baking, only with less of a sugar crash. From knitting to painting, arts and crafts are excellent stress relievers that can also instill a sense of accomplishment in your grandchild, making for a real confidence booster!
8. Reading Together
Why not dive into the enchanting world of books together? Reading not only fosters imagination but can also act as a form of escape from worries and, oftentimes, opens up topics for meaningful discussions.
9. Practicing Gratitude
Inspire your grandchild to count their blessings and/or pray. A daily ritual of sharing three things you’re grateful for can foster positivity and provide a much-needed perspective shift from worry and stress. (I do this every night before I go to sleep!)
10. Setting a Routine
Children often thrive on routine, which gives a sense of security and predictability. Help your grandchild establish a daily or weekly routine, which can alleviate anxiety by giving them a sense of control and order.
11. Encouraging Play and Laughter
Never underestimate the power of a good chuckle, as humor can be a powerful antidote to stress. Encourage playfulness and laughter in your interactions – it’s good for both of you!
12. Simply Being There
Sometimes, all your grandchild needs is your presence. Even when you can’t fix things, just knowing they’re not alone can make your grandchild feel a whole lot better.
As you can see, you don’t have to have a fancy degree or do anything out of the ordinary to help your grandkids combat their stress or anxiety. Keep doing what you already do and keep loving them – it is the best thing you can do! Let’s talk again soon!