No matter how perfect your Instagram feed may seem, we all know that being a parent is hard and, at times, stressful. Despite the best of intentions, when parents are stressed kids often pick up on their mom or dad's mood and become stressed themselves. If you have ever been short with your child because of stress you are not alone. A surprising 46 percent of parents report losing patience with or yelling at their children because of stress. This can create a stressful family environment.
Getting some “me time” is always ideal when you are feeling stressed out, but it's not always possible to get away from the little ones, even for a few minutes. If you ever find that your little one has picked up on your stress there are some activities you can do together to lighten the mood. The experts at The Little Gym have shared their favorite stress-busting activities you can do as a family.
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Color with your kids!
Coloring is a form of art therapy that can lower stress and anxiety and help achieve mindfulness. So the next time your little ones break out the crayons, break out your own set, put on some tunes, and get scribbling! Keep an adult coloring book around, color your child's Disney coloring book side-by-side, or free form.
Spill the beans!
Keep different types of dried beans, (pinto, kidney, etc) on hand and put them in a big bowl. This may not sound like much, but it's a great start to a stress-busting activity. Next, work with your little ones to separate the beans into different compartments in a muffin tin. This simple activity engages fine motor skills, relieves stress, and is an easy task that allows everyone to feel successful. Plus, it will keep kids focused and quiet. Be sure to supervise children closely since, even though they are edible, beans can be a choking hazard.
Chalk it up!
If it's warm enough, grab some jumbo chalk and head outside for some good old fashioned fresh air and creativity. Create a hopscotch board, practice writing the alphabet or different words, or play Pictionary. You can also make “chalk selfies” by taking turns outlining each other with chalk and then drawing features. While you are outside, go for a walk to burn off some energy.
Have a dance party!
This is a great opportunity to turn on your favorite tunes and dance the stress away! Have a dance party or play Freeze Dance by pausing the music and “freezing” when your child least expects it. Try using a Google Home or your Google Assistant to play with just a voice command.
Get their wiggles out!
Give your couch cushions a break and consider enrolling your child in programs where they can grow their physical skills. Look for opportunities for classes where you and your child can be exposed to new experiences and activities. Your child will take part in imaginative learning, building physical skills while working on socialization, listening, and following directions, all of which can help to lower stress at home too.
What do you do to relieve stress as a family?