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How can I lower my child's stress level?

When you plan or oversee your child’s schedule, keep in mind your child’s temperament. Some children need familiar and predictable environments. They thrive on established routines. Other children love spontaneity and change. While one child will be stressed by too much variance from a daily routine, another child will be stressed when held too tightly to a daily regimen. If you have more than one child, you’ll likely find differences in stress-causers for each child. Be careful about imposing a one-schedule-fits-all routine.

To help prevent unnecessary stress in your child, be sure to fit in time for relaxation and unstructured play. It may be tempting to rush from school to soccer to theater to homework to bedtime, but day after day of that kind of schedule will eventually result in stress for your child. Plan for down times. Times for your child to explore, create, play quietly in his or her bedroom, read, or just “veg.”

From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

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Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

When kids start going on TV binges or devouring fistfuls of cookies, it's easy to say, "They'll grow out of it." More likely, they're acquiring bad habits that could lead to childhood obesity and...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.