Upcoming Speaking Engagements
Saturday, June 11
Get your tickets NOW!
Craneway Pavilion Richmond, CATues, June 14
Lamorinda MomsLafayette Vets building
7:00 - 9:00 pm
Lafayette, CATues, Aug 23Bentley School
Lafayette, CATues, Aug 23Wed, Aug 24Awakening Joy
Berkeley, CASat, Aug 27
Wilson County &
Smith County CASA
Nashville, TNTues, Sept 27Wed, Sept 28Seven Hills School
Walnut Creek, CATues, Oct 4 &
Wed, Oct 5The Hockaday School
Dallas, TXTues, Nov 8
Mountain View High
Los Altos, CASat, Dec 3
American Academy of Pediatrics
San Francisco, CA
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|Helping Kids Deal with Stress |
This month on the Raising Happiness blog I wrote about some scary statistics revealing the huge stress that kids are under these days. After providing all that evidence that our children are clearly suffering, I promised a follow-up post about how parents can help kids cope with school-related stress and anxiety.
Here are my three specific suggestions for how to help kids cope with stress:
(1) Help Kids Practice Mindfulness. There are loads of resources for this on the Greater Good website. You could get started with this post for parents. But also check out this step-by-step guide to teaching mindfulness, written by the director of the Mindful Schools program. It was originally geared toward teachers but is relevant to parents as well. For more on mindfulness, you'll also enjoy the "Greater Good Guide to Mindfulness," which is available to GGSC members (more about that here).
(2) Make Sure Kids Are Getting Enough Sleep. Teens need 9.25 hours of sleep per night; first through fifth graders need 10 to 11 hours. If your kids aren't getting enough sleep, try adding just a little more each night: go to bed 10 minutes earlier for a few nights, then 10 more minutes, until you are in a new routine that has kids getting the sleep they need. If you need to be convinced of the importance of sleep for emotional well-being and school success, read this post.
(3) Foster the Growth Mindset. How we praise our children--and how we talk to them about their academic aspirations--is the single most important correction to the "Race to Nowhere" mentality that is wreaking havoc on our children's well-being. Check out this post, or this video to learn more about fostering a mindset in your family that helps kids become engaged learners.
Those aren't the only three things I'd suggest, of course. I'll be blogging this summer about how we can employ nature in our efforts to reduce kids' stress. In fact, my blog, book, and online class are all dedicated to practices that foster happiness. For example, you might decide to help your kids deal with stress by working on your own stress first, or your own busyness. Or, you might try to rely less on using external rewards to motivate your kids, so that they can be in closer touch with their intrinsic motivation and their passions.
In general, remember this: Anything you do to bring more positive emotions into your kids' lives will help them cope with the pressure and stress they may be feeling: Positive emotions act like "breaks" to our fight or flight system, slowing our heart rates and helping us feel calm again.
This all might seem hard now, when end-of-the-school-year busyness can feel overwhelming. But look on the bright side: Summer is right around the corner!
|On the blog in May |
My UC Berkeley Commencement Speech
Brief advice for a life well-lived
High GPAs, Low Happiness?
We may be sacrificing our kids' happiness for higher grades
Fostering confidence in children is easier than you think
Tuesday Tip: Talk to Strangers
One thing you can do today to be happier
Teaching Kids to Fight Nice, Part 1
Podcast: Strategies for positive conflict resolution between kids (and teens, and spouses, too!)
Teaching Kids to Fight Nice, Part 2
Podcast:More practical strategies for positive conflict resolution between siblings
And Two Greater Good Posts Not to Be Missed...
Hard On Yourself? Try Self Compassion
Researcher Kristin Neff reveals the benefits of going easy on yourself: less anxiety, less conflict, and more peace of mind.
The Science of Happiness, Coming Soon to a Theater Near You
An interview with Roko Belic, director of the new documentary film Happy.
Join me at TEDx on June 11
Nobody questions that reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic are essential. But in today's world, these skills are not enough. Children's ability to connect with others and to act compassionately affects their well-being and success in the world. Come learn why relating is the 4th 'R' as we explore the theme of compassion in education. In true TED style you'll hear 20+ presenters--each with just a few minutes to capture our imaginations.
Join educators, scientists, psychologists, parenting experts and performers from all over the globe for an unforgettable afternoon and evening! Workshops and performers punctuate the day, as well as a delicious meal.
For ticket information and to register please go to this link.
CE units are available.