New school year an opportunity for kids to deal with stress

Sept. 17, 2013 at 10:29 PM
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BETHESDA, Md., Sept. 17 (UPI) -- The beginning of the school year can be stressful for children, but a U.S. researcher suggests parents can help their offspring learn how to deal with stress.

Dr. George Askew of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families said going back to school often means going back to school stress.

Kids have no patent on stress, of course -- stress comes with living -- but parents can be the teachers on how to deal with stress, starting with finding out what's on their kids' minds, Askew said.

"It's an open and frank discussion about what is it specifically that they don't like -- and taking the child at their word, exploring that to its very end," Askew said in a statement.

Parents can help by caring and putting things in perspective, although meeting with teachers and administrators may be needed, Askew said.

Askew also said having children get enough sleep -- 9 hours of sleep a night -- and physical activity can help children deal with stress.

Parents can also help children to prevent or reduce stress by teaching them to:

-- Plan ahead.

-- Decide which tasks need to be done first.

-- Prepare for stressful events.

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