2.12.2019

How to Make Your Home a Stress-Free Place for Children



Childhood stress has increased over the past few decades, with around 40 percent of kids reporting that they worry too much. A certain amount of stress is normal and can help children develop skills that are needed to deal with daily situations, however, too much stress can disrupt early brain development and lead to a variety of health problems. Here are a few ways you can make your home a stress-free place for children.

1. Remove all clutter
The National Institute of Mental Health found that kids living in a severely cluttered environment often have elevated levels of distress, experience less happiness, and have more difficulty forming relationships and making friends. Not to mention, clutter can also foster unhealthy eating habits, trigger respiratory issues, and encourage feelings of isolation. Keep your home as clean as possible by routinely throwing away junk, keeping items stored in the appropriate places, vacuuming floors, and wiping down counters.

2. Have open conversations
Some children experience stress from traumatic events, such as a loved one passing, a big move, divorce, or a debilitating illness. Take the time to talk to your child about any big changes happening in his or her life and try to get them to tell you how they’re feeling. If they don’t feel like talking, encourage them to keep a journal where they can write and get their emotions out on paper. Letting your child know that you’re there as a pillar of support is a great form of reassurance and allows them to shove off some of the stress that’s been building inside of them.

3. Address stimulating factors
Some children can display over-sensitivity to home stimuli like fluorescent lighting, pungent odors, or loud sounds. Reducing these distractions can help decrease stress levels and make your child more comfortable in the home. Block out bright outdoor light with blackout curtains, repair any appliances that are giving off loud sounds, soundproof your child’s room with a sound-absorbing rug or door blocker, and avoid using household cleaning products with strong scents.

4. Create a safe space for your child
If your child has anxiety or gets stressed often, create a space where your child can have some downtime and enjoy doing something they love. This space could be your child’s bedroom, a sunny kitchen nook, or even a tucked away alcove in a playroom or living room. Stock this area with books if your child likes to read, art supplies as a way of expressing creativity, and pillows and blankets to create a sense of coziness and comfort.

5. Encourage sleep
Sleep deprivation is one of the biggest culprits for stress and anxiety and can be remedied by getting at least eight hours of sleep every night. Make sure the mattress in your child’s bedroom is comfortable, swap out lumpy or old pillows for comfortable, supportive ones, set the room temperature between 60 and 67 degrees, and have your child stick to a consistent sleep schedule, even on the weekends.

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