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Teaching Your Kids to Recognize Signs of Stress: 5 Practical Tips

“Sometimes my skin gets burning hot and my jaw and fists feel hard as rocks (Garcia, 2017).” In her picture book Listening to My Body, Gabi Garcia narrates the main character noticing sensations in his body as he becomes nervous, excited, angry, etc.

When teaching young children to improve coping skills, it is imperative that we teach them how to notice when their body is sending them a signal that stress is becoming overwhelming.

So, what might your child notice is happening in their body as they become stressed? Sweaty palms, increased heart rate, ringing in ears, flushed cheeks, becoming short-tempered, etc. are all signs that the stress being experienced is becoming detrimental to your child’s physical and mental well-being.

How do we teach our children to listen to their bodies? In Some Days I Flip My Lid, Kellie Bailey (2019)  writes, “The trick, she said, was to notice and see when I start feeling mad or shake in my knees. She told me to notice when my eyes start to close, and then…breathe on purpose right through my nose!”

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