From natural disasters to economic meltdowns, from wars abroad to shootings close to home, the world in which we raise our children is increasingly complex. Our natural instinct as parents and concerned citizens is to protect children from hardship, but we cannot shelter our children from all adversity. What we can do is try to genuinely connect with our kids; we can teach them how to cope positively with adversity and grow from it.

So, what causes children to experience stress? According to a survey of 875 9-to 13-year-old boys and girls, things like homework, friends, and family cause stress. This all makes sense. Here’s what is not intuitive: A whopping seventy-five percent of kids surveyed agreed that what they want most when they’re stressed is their parents’ help, yet this only ranked ninth on the list of coping methods kids use to feel better.

Stress Kids Relief GoZen - What Kids Want Infographic

We want to help our kids when they feel stressed, and clearly, they want our help. How do we bridge the gap in communication, so we’re able to reach them when they need us most? One effective method of connecting with our children is emotion coaching as illustrated above. The foundation of emotion coaching is conveying empathy before problem-solving.

How do you connect with your kids when they’re stressed?

For more open dialogue about helping kids stress better and relieving childhood anxiety, join me at www.gozen.com.