1. INTROCUCTION HEALTHGood health foe children was an aim of the pioneers in early childhood education. Ithad to be. Without immunizations or antibiotics. Highly contagious diseasilythroughout entire nurseries and center (prochner , 1996 ). Even though greatadvance have been made in the prevention of the spread of diseases children ingroups continue to be at risk forninfection and serious, life – threat ening illnesses.New , resistant strains of bacteria and virus have appeared to threaten youngchildren.There are many keys to a healthy lifestyle.Our top 10 things needed healthy lifestyle are listed here.A healthy lifestyle doesnt happen overnight for most of us, especially if we have lessthan fantastic eating and lifestyle habits.But, one step at a time, we CAN get on the road to better health.1. Eat A Balanced DietOne of the main keys to a healthy lifestyle is a healthy diet. A balanced diet includeshealthy food choices from all of the food groups. Choose a wide variety of fruits andvegetables.Just remember to "eat a rainbow". That is, choose vegetables and fruits of all colors:orange, red, yellow, green, purple. The more colors your diet includes, the healthier itis. You will find suggestions for getting more healthy fruits and vegetables in yourdiet here.
2. 2. Get The Right Vitamins and MineralsEating a wide variety of healthy foods is certainly a big key to a healthy long life. Butas we get older it is also important to be aware of how the changes in our bodies canmake a change in our dietary needs.For example, women need more iron than men during their reproductive years. Aswe pass that time in our lives, that need diminishes. Women at the post-menopausalstage of their lives need more calcium than they may have before so diets orvitamin/mineral supplement regimes may have to be changed for optimum health.3. Quit the "Big" HabitsTrying to stop smoking is difficult but doing it has huge benefits to your life. I havelost too many relatives who smoked to lung cancer. It is a killer - and you canimmediately reduce your chances of developing it the day you quite smoking. It reallyis a matter of life and death.Also, if you are a regular or heavy drinker, limiting your drinking will impact yourhealth in many positive ways. Lay out traditional party favorites in a new contemporary way with this colorful and uniquely designed Serving Platter & Dipper Bowl from Rachel Ray. Rachael Ray 14-in. Serveware Serving Platter and Dipper Bowl, Red
3. 4. Get Regular ExerciseCheck with your doctor or other health professional for the exercise that is right foryou, but one of the keys to a healthy lifestyle is to get moving and keep moving.Exercise isnt just for those who want to lose weight. It keeps our joints moving welland our heart pumping stronger and longer.5. Be Pro active About Your HealthSeeing your doctor for annual (or more if needed) checkups is an important healthylifestyle feature. It not only ensures that you are on the right track, but any healthissue that does come up is easier to treat if discovered early.6. Stay ConnectedHealthy relationships are so important to maintaining overall health. Having a circleof loved ones around us, both friends and family, nurtures our spirit and addsfullness to our lives. Pets can be an important connection too. I am not sure what Iwould do without my little furry wonders some days. It is one of the healthy lifestylefeatures of my life that really works wonders.More of the 10 Things Needed for a Healthy Lifestyle...7. Create Balance and Reduce StressExcess stress really can be a killer. In our society we put a lot of pressure onourselves to lead full what we think of as "full" lives. But balance is important too.The stress that pops up in various areas of our lives as we try to do it all can reallyadd up and can lead to heart disease and other serious health issues. Doing whatyou can to eliminate the stress in your life, or at least better managing the stress youdo have, will have a very beneficial impact on your health and your life.
4. 8. Accept Yourself Just as You areAccepting and loving ourselves just as we are, complete with faults andshortcomings, is another of those essential keys to an overall healthy lifestyle. Toomany of us learn this later in life, having spent many years beating ourselves upabout our looks, weight, career or relationships. Doing our best is the most any of uscan ask of ourselves.9. Work at What You LoveDont you admire those people who manage to make a living at doing what theylove? I always have. If you do have a passion, make sure you include it in your lifeon a regular basis. If you want to and are able to turn it into your work, all the better.People who are happy in their work have been shown to be more satisfied with theirlives overall and consider themselves happy people.10. Have FunHave you noticed how much better you feel when you smile or laugh? Having apositive outlook and making sure you take time out to have fun can actually have apositive effect on your health too.Of the 10 things needed for a healthy lifestyle, taking time to have fun and enjoy yourlife is just as important as the other points. Remember - balance is the key in prettymuch everything we do. Also remember that you dont have to change your lifeovernight. A step in the right direction, taken every day, will get you where you wantto go.
5. SAFETYParents, guardians, and adults who care for childrenface constant challenges when trying to help keepchildren safer in todays fast-paced worldFordecades, children were taught to stay away from"strangers." But this concept is difficult for children tograsp and often the perpetrator is someone the childknows. It is more beneficial to help build childrensconfidence and teach them to respond to apotentially dangerous situation, rather than teachingthem to look out for a particular type of person.Child Safety SeatsAccidents usually happen without a lot of warning. Even routine trips can expose ourchildren to danger from motor vehicles. In fact, collision-related injuries topassengers have been cited as the leading cause of death for children under age 14.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 40 percentof parents are still using seat belts when they install a car seat. One way to assureyour child’s safety as a passenger is by updating your knowledge about the mostrecent technology. For example, LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) isthe newest safety installation system for cars. Designed with the purpose ofstandardizing the way child safety seats are attached to vehicles, 2 this innovationhelps to assure the safety of children.A great deal of evidence shows that when properly used, child safety seats andsafety belts can save lives.3 In fact, studies have shown that during a collision, theseseats reduce the risk of death by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers.
6. Children must be restrained in seats that are in accordance with their size and age.There are three basic types, which are designed to accommodate children ofdifferent ages and weights.Convertible Infant Seats are used for newborn babies. At first, the seats should bepositioned to face the rear of the car. These types of infant seats are consideredconvertible because they can be turned to face the front of the car when the childweighs over 20 pounds. They also come equipped with a safety belt and harnessthat must be completely secured. The child can continue using this type of seat untilhe/she weighs 40 pounds.Booster seats are for school-age children who have outgrown convertible infantseats. This type of seat is used until the child becomes 8 years old or when he/shegrows to a height of 4 feet 9 inches.For maximum protection during a collision, children should be restricted from ridingin the front seat of passenger vehicles until they are 13 years old.School Bus SafetyPassenger cars are not the only vehicles that expose children to danger on the road.More than 22 million students, nationwide, ride on school buses. However, statisticsfrom the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis ReportingSystem (FARS) and General Estimates System (GES) show that most childreninjured by school buses are not even riding inside them! Instead, children sufferinjuries when boarding or exiting the bus because they are in places that are notvisible to the driver.The National Safety Council advises teaching children to learn and practice thefollowing school bus safety rules: 1. Stay away from the bus’ rear wheels at all times. (Stay away from traffic and do not run around or shove each other.) 2. When waiting for the school bus, stay back and away from the street until the bus comes to a complete stop, and the rear door opens. (The child should stand on the same side of the street as the bus stop.)
7. 3. Hold the handrail while going up or down the steps. (Children should get in line away from the street. Younger students should stand in front of the line.) All of the students should board single file. 4. When on the bus, go directly to a seat. Do not stand up in a moving bus. (Explain that loud talking and goofing around can distract the driver). 5. Never stick hands, arms, or head out of the window, and never throw things out of the windows or on the bus. 6. Keep aisles clear. Book bags should be kept on laps. (They can block the path in an emergency). 7. When exiting, always cross the street in front of the bus. (Explain they should not cross the centerline of the road until the driver signals that it is safe).HelmetsMotor vehicle accidents are only one hazard to children. Parents should teachchildren to wear a helmet every time they ride their bikes, use skateboards, ridescooters, or go skating. Their helmet should be constructed with thick shock-absorbing material. Additionally, it should be positioned low on the forehead, nottilted back.Purchase a new helmet after the old one has protected a child from being injured.The impact of a fall can cause a helmet to lose its protective qualities. It is alsoimportant to make sure your child knows how to buckle the helmet, quickly andeasily.A summer fun activity such as bike riding is considered dangerous unless the propersafety gear is worn.Amusement Parks and CarnivalsOther summer fun activities include trying out all the newest exciting rides atamusement parks and carnivals. Most of the children who wind up getting treated inemergency rooms are there because the parents incorrectly assumed a ride wasappropriate for their child. The National Safe Kids Campaign press release advisesparents to remember that height guidelines are not always reliable. Instead, parents
8. must appraise the ability of their child to obey ride instructions. For example, AlanKorn, Director of Public Policy, and General Counsel for Safe Kids USA advisesparents to reinforce the authority of the ride operator. “If the ride operator tellschildren to keep their hands and feet inside the car or to hold the handrail, explain toyour children that there is a good reason for the rule.” Officials estimate that 8,000children, ages 14 and under become injured because of using poor judgment orbehaving improperly on the rides.10Playground HazardsSummer fun can also be dangerous when children spend time at playgrounds.Similar to amusement park rides, parents and caregivers should make sureplayground equipment is appropriate for the child’s age. The newest advice involvesmaking sure children are being supervised by adults.Each year more than 200,000 preschool and elementary school age children areinjured from falling while using playground equipment. 11 When their imaginations runwild, children sometimes believe they have superpowers that enable them to doremarkable physical feats on the playground equipment. This puts children at risk ofbecoming seriously injured.Most playground injuries are related to the climbing equipment, such as monkeybars. “Researchers identified 204 children ages 20 months to 12 years who wereinjured.”13 In fact, the amount of injuries that result from children playing on monkeybars is significant enough that many experts want them removed fromplaygrounds.14 Meanwhile, in case of falls, parents can make sure that theplayground surface is loosely filled with wood chips, mulch, sand, gravel, shreddedrubber, or rubber like surfacing materials.Household HazardsBabies seem to practice their future playground skills when they first learn how toclimb on furniture. This is when medicine cabinets become attractive goals for ababy to conquer. It is necessary to remove all items that present a danger tochildren. Keep all household chemicals and pharmaceuticals out of their reach. In
9. addition, remove access to cleaning products that are typically stored under the sink.As a precaution, write down the phone number for the poison control center.GunsIf you own a gun, keep it locked, unloaded, and out of reach of children. However,even if your child does not have access to a gun in your home, he or she may beshown a gun when visiting another child. In fact, guns are in more than one third ofall U.S. households.Advises parents to teach children that if a friend shows them a gun, they should nottouch it. Instead, explain that children should immediately leave the vicinity and tellan adult.Safe EatingOf course, playing with guns represents a potential danger for young children, butsimply eating food can also be considered dangerous. The most recent statisticsshow that choking is the leading cause of death in children under 5 years old. Aschildren gain the ability to feed themselves, they often attempt to put inappropriate orlarge objects into their mouths. Martin Stutsman, a consumer safety officer in theFood and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition pointedout the obvious necessity of teaching children “safe eating”. This expert cautionsparents to make sure children carefully chew their food before they swallow it, and toteach children that food is the only object that belongs in their mouths. Any objectcan become lodged in a child’s airway. If the food or other object prevents oxygenfrom getting to the lungs and brain for more than four minutes, the result could bebrain damage or death. As a safety precaution, round for firm such as sliced carrotsor grapes should be cut or diced into small particles.If a child begins to choke on an object, the best way to help is by knowing how toadminister Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, (CPR). When performed correctly andas quickly as possible, CPR can save a child’s life by restoring breathing andcirculation. In effect, the rescuer will be breathing for the victim by forcing air into thelungs. A CPR course will teach the correct way that rescuers should position
10. themselves and the correct intervals for breathing into the victim’s mouth. Knowinghow to correctly administer CPR can also prepare parents and caregivers for othertypes of emergencies that may require rescue breathing.Safe SleepingSudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), otherwise known as “crib death” is blamedwhen a baby dies from unknown causes. Before 1992, parents were being advisednot to place babies on their backs when putting them to sleep. It was assumed thatbabies were more likely to choke if they were lying on their backs. However, in 1992,researchers found that babies who slept on their stomachs were at a greater risk ofdeath than babies who slept on their backs. When The American Academy ofPediatrics began informing families to put babies to sleep on their backs, SIDSdeaths were reduced by 50 percent in the United States. When parents learn thebest way to reduce the chances of SIDS is putting their baby to sleep on his/herback, they may feel reassured.Stranger WarningsRegrettably, the traditional child safety message taught by parents and schools ofavoiding strangers may not be enough to adequately educate your children on howto best protect themselves from danger.While ingraining the slogan “stranger danger” can help to instill prudence whenencountering unfamiliar persons, the concepts of what defines a stranger and whatreal threats exist have shown to be difficult for children to fully grasp. In addition, itseems that in more incidences than not, the perpetrators are not strangers at all, butrather people they know that are often the victimizers.Concerned parents should frequently sit down to candidly discuss with their childrenthe real dangers that exist, to listen to their children’s experiences and concerns, andto reinforce the training needed to protect themselves from abduction and/or abuse.As a good rule of thumb, always require your child to check with a parent, a clearlydefined caregiver, or a trusted teacher before conversing with adults, goinganywhere, accepting anything, or getting into a car with anyone who is not an
11. approved authority. In addition, always teach children the importance of saying “no”and immediately reporting to an authority anyone who does or says something thatmakes him/her feel uncomfortable, scared, or confused. Explain that they are notbeing tattle tales by talking with you about such concerns by reassuring them of theimportance and significance that this type of open discussion has in the protection ofthemselves and their friends from danger.The Most Obvious ProtectionGlobe Life and Accident Insurance Company recognizes the importance of keepingparents current about the latest safety information. Obviously, most parents andcaregivers understand that discretionary caution is the best preventive strategy forkeeping injuries at bay. However, properly safeguarding children by being preparedfor unexpected emergencies is just as necessary.
12. ISSUES AND PROBLEMS IN HEALTHStress affects your child’s brain and learningBad stress (distress) is when your child feels that he has a problem he doesn’t want,can’t find answers to, loses control over circumstances or stress periods areprotracted and constant.Bad stress increases and prolongs cortisol release and candamage neurons in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is responsible for emotionsand memory in learning.Too much cortisol is also associated with reduced immunityand tense muscles resulting in headaches. All these will negatively affectlearning.Stress can come in different forms parental and peer pressure, violence(family violence or school bullies) and poor support. Babies can experience stresstoo.Leaving a baby to cry it out increases stress levels. Not providing enoughstimulation such as Touching and a sense of security will affect the connectivity of ababy’s brain, affecting learning.Stress is a function of the demands placed on us andour ability (or sometimes our perceived ability) to meet them. Pressures often comefrom outside sources (such as family, friends, or school), but they can also comefrom within. The pressure we place on ourselves can be most significant becausethere is often a discrepancy between what we think we ought to be doing and whatwe are actually doing in our lives.Stress can affect anyone - even a child - who feelsoverwhelmed. A 2-year-old child, for example, may be anxious because the personshe needs to help her feel good - her parent - isnt there enough to satisfy her. Inpreschoolers, Separation from parents is the greatest cause of anxiety.As childrenget older, academic and social pressures (especially the quest to fit in) create stress.Inaddition, well-meaning parents sometimes unwittingly add to the stress in theirchildrens lives. For example, high achieving parents often have great expectationsfor their children, who may lack their parents motivation or capabilities. Parents whopush their children to excel in sports or who enroll their children in too many activitiesmay also cause unnecessary stress and frustration if their children dont share theirgoals.Your childs stress level may be raised by more than just whats happening inher own life. Does she hear you talking about troubles at work, worrying about a
13. relatives illness, or fighting with your spouse about financial matters? Parents needto be careful how they discuss such issues when their children are near becausechildren will pick up on their parents anxieties and start to worry themselves.Childrenwho watch replays of the disturbing images on TV or hear talk of plane crashes, war,and bio-terrorism may worry about their own safety and that of the people they love.Talk to your child about what she sees and hears, and monitor what she watches onTV so that you can help her understand whats going on and reassure her that shessafe.Also consider that complicating factors, such as an illness, death of a loved one,or a divorce, may be causing your childs stress. When these factors are added tothe everyday pressures kids face, the stress is magnified. Even the most amicabledivorce can be a difficult experience for children because their basic security system- their family - is undergoing a tough change. Separated or divorced parents shouldnever put kids in a position of having to choose sides or expose them to negativecomments about the other spouse. Parents should always operate in the bestinterest of their child. Stress can be defined as any unusual demand on one’sinternal or external resources that requires an individual to utilize energy reserves inexcess of what would be necessary for dealing with ordinary life events (Hart et al.,1998). Feelings of stress can be exhibited through observable behaviors such as nailbiting, thumb or finger sucking, hair twirling, physical hostility, tremors or tics,nervous laughter, helplessness, crying, complaints of physical aches and pains,irritability, outbursts, and withdrawal (Burts, Hart, & Chartlesworth, 1992; Jewett,1997; Fallin, Wallinga, & Coleman, 2001; Zeigart, Kistner, Castro, & Robertson,2001).Previous research on children and stress has examined observable stress behaviorsin the classroom including examining specific classroom situations or types ofactivities and how these situations affect individual children (Hart et al., 1998; Hart,Yang, Charlesworth, & Burts, 2003; Ruckman, Burts, & Pierce, 1999; Burts et al.,1992). In one study, kindergarten children were observed for stress behaviors indevelopmentally appropriate and inappropriate classrooms. Results were examinedfor effects of race, socioeconomic status (SES), and gender. Significant findingsindicated that boys exhibited more stress behaviors than girls, but in developmentallyinappropriate classrooms, children overall exhibited more stress than children in
14. developmentally appropriate classrooms. Also, more stress behaviors were exhibitedby low SES Black children regardless of classroom type (Burts et al., 1992).This study was concerned with kindergarten children’s observable responses to thedaily stressors they may encounter in school. The following questions formed theframework of the study: Do kindergarten children exhibit signs of stress in academicsituations? If so, at what specific points or during what specific activities throughoutthe school day do children exhibit stress behaviors?Causes of StressBoth negative and positive events can cause stress. Family events are often asource of stress for children. The break up of a family is a negative event that cancause stress in children. Events such as physical abuse, separation, rejection, andfights are some other negative sources of stress. Other events such as a parentlosing a job, or the death of a parent, grandparent, or sibling can create stress.Positive events that cause stress in children include birthday parties, new pets, andthe birth of new siblings. Everyday family obligations, events, and routines cancreate stress and tension for the young child, as in the case of an active family thatmay be so busy that the needs of a young child may be overlooked.Parents and caregivers need to be aware of what is happening in a childs life thatmay affect the childs behavior. A sudden change in a child¼s behavior may berelated to stress. Caregivers can talk with the parents about what is going on in thehome.Signs of StressCommon signs of stress are listed below. These signs also may indicate that thechild is experiencing problems other than stress. How do you identify stress fromother problems that the child may be experiencing?First, parents and other caregivers must observe childrens behavior. Children whoisolate themselves from other children may be feeling stress. Also, the child who iseasily agitated, irritable, lethargic, lazy, or aggressive may also suffer from stress.
15. It is also important to watch the child for changes in habits or behavior. For example,a friendly, quiet child who suddenly has been fighting and arguing with his friendsmay be suffering from stress. As a caregiver, you notice normal behavior amongchildren and you will also be aware when there are changes in childrens behavior.How should you react when a child changes his or her normal behavior? Acceptingthe childs behavior is important. For example, it is useless to scold a child for thumbsucking. Scolding will not stop the behavior. Also, forcing the child to eat does notresult in the child eating. When you notice unusual behavior, care for the child,remain close to the child, and comfort the child. Reassure the child that you careabout him or her.Possible Signs of Stress in Young ChildrenAccident HittingpronenessAnger KickingAnxiety InsomniaAppetite Loss StutteringBaby Talk IndigestionBed-wetting Thumb suckingBiting Pounding HeartCrying Spells Grinding TeethDetachment Fingernail BitingExcessive Respiratory TractAggressiveness IllnessExcessive TattlingLaziness
16. A first step in decreasing a childs stress is to be knowledgeable and aware of thesymptoms of stress. These symptoms or warning signs include bed-wetting, upsetstomach, irritability, nightmares, lying, withdrawal from activity, change in activitylevel, poor sleep or eating habits, teeth grinding, or decline in school achievement.Recognizing childrens stress symptoms is not easy. It is very important to recognizethat it is normal for children to exhibit some of these signs at some times in theirlives. Adults need to be alert when a child is showing a cluster of these signs orsymptoms simultaneously or when no apparent cause can explain why the child maybe stressed. In either of these cases, it is a sign that the adults who are involved inthe care of children need to intervene. If the child feels that it is impossible to handlethe stress, he or she can become angry or aggressive. If the stress becomes toooverwhelming for the child, then the child will experience anxiety. If the body remainsin a state of anxiety, then physical, social, and emotional damage and deteriorationcan occur.The age of the child is a factor in recognizing stress. Children often cannottell us what they feel or they do not have the language to describe the stressfulsituation. They tend to show the stress through their behavior. When you notice athree-year-old child crying constantly (or more than usual), or an eight-year-oldhaving a temper tantrum, that may be the childs way of alerting you to something orletting you know that too much is happening.Children react differently to stressfulevents and situations and also have different coping strategies. Children can copethrough tears and crying, through tantrums, or by retreating from unpleasantsituations. Children who are around supportive adults and caregivers usually developa variety of coping strategies and are more likely to become more resilient. Manychildren, however, do not have a supportive environment and do not learn a set ofpositive management strategies.Developmental or Normative StressAnother important factor influencing your childs reaction to stress is the actualnature of the stressor--the situation or event that causes the stress. One category ofstressors is called developmental or normative stress. Developmental stressaccompanies the normal growing experiences of childhood. Some examples of thistype of stressor are: dealing with strangers as an infant, being separated fromparents, starting or changing schools, and adjusting to puberty. Most children deal
17. with this form of stress quite successfully and become able to adapt to the changesthat cause it by learning from the changes. Basic stress management methods thatwill be used throughout your childs life are developed during this growth process.Normative stress carries with it a low level of risk for your childs overalldevelopment.Critical StressOther family and personal pressures can be more intense and critical to your childswell-being than normative stressors. This type is called critical stress. Thesestressors are events that do not occur in every childs life, but are common. Someexamples include unusually high or low levels of stimulation, moving to a new home,or the child being hospitalized. These events create medium levels of risk to yourchilds development. Changes in your childs usual behavior and personality might beseen in response to critical stress. Although more serious and threatening thandevelopmental stress, most children manage to overcome these critical pressures iffamily members and friends are sensitive and supportive.Catastrophic StressSerious unexpected events often produce the most severe and catastrophic stressreactions in children. Some examples of this level of stress are: serious illnesses ofthe child or a family member, natural disasters, and abuse of the child. This level isassociated with the highest risk for the child. The child experiencing such a crisis isoften too overwhelmed to use basic resources for dealing with pressure and fear. Achild suffering this level of stress has a great need for the understanding and supportof family members, and may require more specialized care and counseling thanparents are prepared or able to provide on their own.
18. METHODSData sources for this study consisted of naturalistic classroom observations by theresearcher, open-ended interviews with teachers, and collection of artifacts from theclassroom and specific work artifacts made by the children. I as a teacherin the kindergarten class had made observation and have been using themethods shown in order to overcome the problem of my disciples who stressNotice out loud. Tell your child when you notice that somethings bothering him or her.If you can, name the feeling you think your child is experiencing. ("It seems like yourestill mad about what happened at the playground.") This shouldnt sound like anaccusation (as in, "OK, what happened now? Are you still mad about that?") or put achild on the spot. Its just a casual observation that youre interested in hearing moreabout your childs concern. Be sympathetic and show you care and want to understand.Listen to your child. Ask your child to tell you whats wrong. Listen attentively andcalmly — with interest, patience, openness, and caring. Avoid any urge to judge, blame,lecture, or say what you think your child should have done instead. The idea is to letyour childs concerns (and feelings) be heard. Try to get the whole story by askingquestions like "And then what happened?" Take your time. And let your child take his orher time, too.Comment briefly on the feelings you think your child was experiencing. Forexample, you might say "That must have been upsetting," "No wonder you felt madwhen they wouldnt let you in the game," or "That must have seemed unfair to you."Doing this shows that you understand what your child felt, why, and that you care.Feeling understood and listened to helps your child feel supported by you, and that isespecially important in times of stress.Put a label on it. Many kids do not yet have words for their feelings. If your childseems angry or frustrated, use those words to help him or her learn to identify theemotions by name. Putting feelings into words helps kids communicate and developemotional awareness — the ability to recognize their own emotional states. Kids who cando so are less likely to reach the behavioral boiling point where strong emotions getdemonstrated through behaviors rather than communicated with words.Strategies to Reduce Stress in Children/Helping to Manage StressChildren need help in learning to manage and function with the stress they feel. Onemeans to assist children is to acknowledge their feelings. It is important thatchildren understand what they are feeling, that we teach the word "stress" by lettingthem know that they may feel "butterflies in the stomach," or that their heart maypound. Let children know that it is all right to feel angry, alone, scared, or lonely.
19. Teach children names or words for their feelings and appropriate ways to expressthem. Show more interest in the childs experience than in the behavior that results.There are times when a child just needs a hug for reassurance. In the case of olderchildren, help them learn to problem solve for themselves and come up withmanagement (coping ) strategies. This builds their independence and mastery ofcoming up with options, finding solutions, or finding other ways to comfortthemselves. For example, if a child repeatedly bullies other children, lies, withdraws,gives up, hurts or blames other children, the adult can ask the child what other waysthere are to handle the situation that caused the reaction in the child.Promote a positive environment - Praise children for the acceptable things thatthey do. The experience of stress and tension can serve to defeat an individualsconcept and confidence. Help children see and understand the positive things aboutthemselves and that they are worthwhile persons. Listen without judging the child orthe situation; that is, if the child chooses to tell you about the situation that producedthe stress. Help the child feel comfortable in expressing feelings. Assist the child inclarifying his or her feelings. You may need to correct any misconceptions that thechildren may have about themselves or their feelings.Set a good example - Children learn lessons from us, whether these lessons arepositive or negative. Keep in mind that children are imitators and may cope withstress in the same ways they see adults handle their stress. In some cases, it isappropriate to explain, especially to older children, why something is being done.This explanation can often ease the childs reaction.Help children through stories - Sometimes children cant talk to us about thedistress they feel. They may not have the words or the concepts to easily expressthemselves. They may feel shy, embarrassed, guilty, or ashamed. If you try to talk tothem using adult logic, most children will "turn off." How can we then talk to childrenabout their fears and problems? How can we get through to them, let them know thatwe understand, and offer them ways to manage their fears and find comfort? Storiesare a great answer. Children will "turn on" to story time. Some stories are therapeuticstories which help children feel better and cope better with their fears and problems.The character in the story can be a little boy or little girl just like them. They areworried about the same things and have the same problems to deal with. In thestory, the boy or girl finds ways of coping with and resolving troubling issues ofconcern to the child. As the child listens to the story, he or she is able to identify withthe hero or heroine. There is safety in the story. The child is free to listen and tolearn without risking feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable.Telling children stories about children with feelings just like theirs helps them realizethat other children have been through the situation too. This is very reassuring tochildren. It also lets them know that you understand their feelings.Telling a story also provides a way of communicating with children. If you are unsureof how children are feeling, you can ask them, "And what do you think John (name ofthe story character) was most worried about?" The answer that the child gives will bea direct reflection of his own fears, or anger. This communication about the story canbe very effective because children can be very truthful and insightful about the
20. feelings and fears of story characters even though they may be reluctant whenasked about their own feelings.When a parent tells a story to a child, an atmosphere of warmth and intimacy iscreated that is comforting for parents as well as children. It helps as a parent to knowthat storytelling is a simple, natural, and age-old technique that can be used tocomfort children.If a child is experiencing stress, there are other ways to assist the child to gaincontrol. The aim is to help the child to relax. Some ways are: deep breathingexercises, listening to soothing music, reciting nursery rhymes and finger plays,listening to the rain fall, drawing or coloring. These "stress breakers" can help thechild decrease the level of stress that he or she is feeling. Children can also learn toharness the positive energy of stress and use it to their advantage.Additional StrategiesBe aware of the childs temperament; what seems to be fun for one child may feeloverwhelming to another child.Make an effort to cut down on activities when you see signs of stress in childrensbehavior. Allow children to go at their own paces. Structure activities so that childrencan cooperate with each other, lessening competition among children.Teach children tricks for calming themselves, such as taking deep breaths, thinkingof a quiet place, etc.Take care of yourself! Children often pick up stress from parents and caregivers.Keep calm and control your anger.Plan plenty of time for play. Inform children when there will be transitions or changesin the child care curriculum. Plan activities to allow children to express their feelingsthrough play. Books, art activities, puppetry, play and drawing allow children to thinkthrough and label their feelings.Reassure children that what has happened is not their fault. Children often believethat their "bad" behavior caused bad things to happen, such as the breakup of theirmother and father. They have a tendency to assume guilt for situations that adultsknow are entirely beyond the childs control.Give children a lot of cuddles, reassurances, and familiar routines, like a bedtime orsleep time story. Giving a child a special toy for comfort is also suggested.Helping children to deal positively with stressful and tension causing events preparesthem for healthy emotional and social development. This is an importantresponsibility of parents, teachers, and other caregivers: to effectively guide and helpchildren.
21. Provide an environment with open communication. Parents should be availableto listen when their children need to talk. They should ask open-ended questions(e.g., questions that cant be answered with just a "yes" or "no") if their children needhelp discussing the subject. Examples of open-ended questions include "What doyou think about ...?" and "How does ... make you feel?" One of the benefits of talkingabout stressors is that discussing them brings about increased awareness. Also,parents should be willing to share some of their own stresses and feelings to let theirchildren know (without worrying them) that their feelings are normal.*Make sure your children get enough sleep and/or rest. Children who do not getenough sleep will not have the energy required to combat lifes stresses. Parentsshould make sure their children get enough sleep every night. A regular bedtimeshould be maintained. Getting enough rest is critical to childrens mental andphysical health.*Model appropriate coping skills. Children learn by watching their parents. Ifchildren see their parents using appropriate coping skills when they are under stress,they will be more likely to use appropriate skills when they experience stress, too.Parents should try to demonstrate that stress is normal and can be handled in a calmand effective manner. Parents should try to be optimists who view a stressor as achallenge rather than a catastrophe.*Have your children learn relaxation skills. Relaxation skills can help childrenrelease tension caused by stress. There are various specific relaxation techniquesthat professionals can teach children. Some techniques involve having children usetheir imagination to recall or develop positive and relaxing images (e.g., playingoutside, being at the beach). Other relaxation techniques involve teaching children tosystematically tense and relax various muscle groups. These relaxation techniquesmust be practiced on a daily basis to be most effective. What relaxation technique ischosen is usually not critical. What is important is that it is comfortable for children,that it works, and that they stick to it. Parents who think their children might benefitfrom training in these relaxation techniques should ask their childrens health careprovider for a referral to a professional who is qualified to provide this training.
22. *Teach your children how to handle criticism. All of us are criticized at one timeor another. Increased stress can result when a person has difficulty acceptingcriticism. Children are often exposed to criticism at an early age. This criticism cantake the form of peer teasing or constructive feedback from teachers and parents.Parents should try to teach children how to handle criticism from an early age.Children should be taught that no one is perfect and that we all make mistakes thatwe can learn from. Parents can use role playing to teach children how to handleteasing and unfair criticism.*Provide proper nutrition. Proper nutrition is a very important part of combatingstress, especially for children. The best diet to help children handle stress is one thathas few additives, has the right amount of calories to maintain normal development,and is balanced. Children with poor diets (unbalanced, high in junk foods) should beencouraged to decrease their intake of foods high in fats, cholesterol, salt, andrefined or processed sugars. Childrens consumption of junk foods and caffeineshould be limited. They should be encouraged to increase their intake of fruits,vegetables, and whole grains. Children should maintain a healthy body weight.Parents whose children are overweight should consult their childrens health careprovider for recommendations regarding weight loss.*Provide a consistent routine or schedule. Children need predictability in theirlives. A consistent schedule of meal times, homework time, bed time, etc., allowschildren to know what to expect in their lives. This in turn, helps them feel secure andreduces stress.*Help your children reframe stressful situations. Children have control over theway things affect them. Childrens perceptions of a stressful situation help determinehow stressful it becomes. Parents should take steps to help their children developalternative interpretations of the things that cause them stress. For example, if achild is experiencing stress because he thinks his teacher doesnt like him becauseshe didnt say hello to him at the beginning of class, a parent can ask the child to tryto come up with other explanations for his teachers behavior. A parent mightsuggest that perhaps the teacher was busy thinking about something else andtherefore forgot to say hello. This is an example of reframing a stressful situation.The key is for parents to help their children come up with alternative and more
23. positive interpretations of stressful situations. Of course, its not possible to reframeevery stressful situation. There will be times when the stress children perceive in asituation is quite real. At these times, it is necessary for parents to help their childrencope with the situation in other ways.*Help your children alter their beliefs about stressful situations. Childrensbeliefs have a major impact on their behavior: How they behave, who they choosefor friends, what subjects they study in school, etc. Childrens beliefs also determine,to a certain extent, what will and will not be stressful for them. Sometimes certainbeliefs lead to increased stress. In these instances its a good idea for parents tomake an attempt to help their children change these specific beliefs. For example,children who believe that they must get an A+ on every homework assignment orelse they will be a failure will experience stress whenever they dont get an A+. Insuch a case, it would reduce stress significantly if parents helped their children alterthis belief to one that allows for imperfection.*Encourage your children to participate in enjoyable activities. When childrenare experiencing excessive stress, parents should encourage them to take part inactivities they enjoy (e.g., sports, listening to music, playing a game, art, reading). Inorder to be stress reducing, the activity needs to be enjoyable and should allow themto take their mind off their troubles.*Encourage your children to get regular exercise. Regular exercise is anexcellent way to help manage stress. First of all, it helps work out tension that canbuild up in childrens bodies. Secondly, exercise provides for physical fitness, whichallows childrens bodies to be more efficient at combating stress. Finally, exercisehelps clear the mind, making it easier to relax. Exercise, however, will not beeffective in combating stress unless it is done regularly. The specific activity that ischosen is not important. What is important is that children find it enjoyable. Also,children will be much more likely to exercise on a regular basis if their parentsexercise regularly and are physically fit.*Help your children develop good problem-solving skills. When children face asignificant problem parents should take the opportunity to teach effective problem-solving strategies. They should start by helping their children clearly define the exact
24. problem. Then parents should have their children generate a list of possible solutions(not evaluating them at this stage). Once a list of solutions is generated, parentsshould have their children go through each possibility and evaluate its potential forsuccess. Once all the solutions have been evaluated parents should encourage theirchildren to choose what appears to be the best solution. Parents should encourageand praise their children for the use of effective problem-solving strategies.*Help your children learn how to manage time. Parents should help their childrenlearn how to prioritize activities. If children have a tendency to take on too muchresponsibility, parents should help them learn to place limits on their commitments.Parents should help teach their children how to schedule their time (e.g., specifictime for homework) so they can get things done.*Teach your children to be assertive. Children who are afraid to stand up forthemselves tend to have difficulty handling stressful situations. Parents should teachtheir children to stand up for themselves. Parents can role-play problem situationsand teach their children how to stand up for themselves in an appropriate, non-aggressive manner.*Develop your childrens sense of humor. Children who can see the humorousside of things and can laugh at themselves tend to handle stressful situations moreeffectively. Parents should teach their children not to take things too seriously.Laughter is good medicine!
25. FINDINGSWhat I can after making observations of children and overcome stress, withmethods for stress problems mengatsaichildren in my preschool class.Develop good relationships Family relationships are built over time with loving care and concern for other peoples feelings. Talk over family problems in a warm, relaxed atmosphere. Focus on solutions rather than finding blame. If you are too busy or upset to listen well at a certain time, say so. Then agree on a better time, and make sure to do it. Laugh together, be appreciative of each other, and give compliments often. It may be very hard to schedule time to spend with your family, doing things that you all enjoy, but it is the best time you will ever invest.Parents and children need time to spend one-to-one. Whether yours is a one or two-parent family, each parent should try to find a little time to spend alone with each child. You could read a bedtime story, play a game, or go for a walk together. General Guidelines for Teachers Greet each child warmly each day. That transition from parent to teacher is an important one. Often mornings are extremely stressful for families. Children may have been yelled at, hurried, and given breakfast in the car. A warm smile or hug as a child walks in the door can go a long way to help a child feel accepted and wanted.Spend time with each child every day. Even if its just for one or two minutes, get down on the childs level, make eye contact, listen, and watch.Value each child. Children learn to value themselves through the eyes (and words) of others. What you say (or dont say) to a child has tremendous impact.Eliminate stressful situations from your classroom and routines. Ask yourself the following questions Is my room arrangement simple and easy to move through? Are activity areas clearly defined (e.g., art area, block area, reading/quiet area)?
26. Do I have a balance of noisy areas (e.g., blocks, dramatic play), andquiet areas (books, manipulatives)?Have I planned my day so that it alternates between active and quietactivities, organized projects and free play?Do I stick to routine as much as possible so that children know what toexpect each day?
27. CONCLUSIONSNearby nature moderates the negative effects produced by stressful events. In thisway, those children who have more access to natural areas are able to cope betterwith stress and therefore their stress level is lower than it would be expected ifnature was not acting as a protective factor. The impact of stressful events onchildren is weaker when the amount of nearby nature is higher. In contrast toprevious studies (Wells and Evans, 2003), the present investigation has taken intoconsideration not only the nearby nature measured in an objective way (with a scale)but also the moderator effect of the nature that children perceive. The data collectedin this study shows that the perceived nature in the four schools is different and thatthe stress level of the children in each school also differs from one to another. It canbe concluded that children in the very natural school are able to cope better withStress than children who attend classes in the non natural school, and this reinforcesthe importance that the amount of nature that children have in their school and itssurroundings.To sum up, four interaction effects found significant meaning thata moderator effect of nearby nature does exist. Low accessibility to the natural world,more frequent in today´s society, negatively affects children´s wellbeing and reducestheir capacity to cope with adversity. With this, it can be concluded that includingnatural elements in home and school areas is important for children. Children´shealth and wellbeing depend on the way that these environments encouragechildren´s contact with nature. Good Stress (eustress) helps learning by motivatingproblem solving. For your child to experience eustress, stress has to be occasionalor intermittent.There must be enough rest between challenges. Your child has to feelthe ability to overcome the problem and that he is still in control. There are levels ofgood stress? it is best to ensure that your child experience low stress when he islearning new information and not to be worried if stress levels rise during a test as itcan help performance. However, try not to allow this stress to escalate to becomebad stress.