Activity: learn different ways to respond to stress

No one feels calm all the time, but we can work on reacting to stressful events in a balanced way. This activity is good for teenagers. It helps them see how different states of mind influence their reactions.

Talk to your child

Talk to your child about different states of mind. Encourage them to spot when they’re in an emotional state and consider the rational side of things as well.

Ask them to think about a recent time when they felt stressed. What thoughts did they have at the time? Looking at the situation again: could they see it in a different light?

What kind of response would honour how they feel about the situation, yet be easier for them to deal with?

Practical steps

Both emotion and logic have an important place in our lives. But when your child feels stressed, emotions can take over. Emotional and physical wellbeing are connected, so it can help to focus on physical sensations first. When, when things are calmer, it’s easier to think logically. Help your child to:

If your child an identify what’s making them stressed, ask them if it’s something they can control. If so, help them decide what to do about it and when. If not, encourage them to cross the worry out or put it in the bin, and let it go.

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This advice was written by our experienced Parent Talk coaches. Parent Talk is a free online service for parents and carers, provided by the charity Action for Children. For more advice, message our parenting coaches with our online chat.

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