**Disclosure: We received a complimentary copy of this book in order to perform an accurate review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.
Prior to 3rd Grade, my daughter did not receive letter grades on her assignments. This fall, she received her first graded assignment ever. She was given a detailed description of the assignment along with a detailed description of expectations for each letter grade. My daughter normally loves school and often is thrilled to work on projects. So, imagine my dismay when I found her bawling while clutching her assignment paper in her hand. Faced with this situation, it is easy to feel a wave of fear when thinking about the future school challenges.
We can't protect our children from everything and anything that can happen. However, we can arm ourselves with tools that can help us as we help them on their journeys. We also can give them basic building blocks that can help them manage stress no matter the cause.
Help for the Stressed Out Family
Recently, I received the opportunity to read Stress Free Kids: A Parent's Guide to Helping Build Self-Esteem, Manage Stress, and Reduce Anxiety in Children by Lori Lite. Lori Lite's journey as a recognized Stress Expert was born out of her own experiences with her own children. Often, Lite needed 2 hours to help her son settle down to sleep. On top of that, her daughter suffered from stress related night terrors. Lite herself suffered from anxiety. From her experiences, Lite developed a series of books and CDs that help children de-stress, control anxiety and manage anger. Lite has been featured in various media outlets including CBS News, Prevention, Family Circle and The New York Times.
When I first picked up the book, I feared that it was going to be overly heady. I mean, Lite is a Stress Expert! However when dealing with a stress-related problem, the last thing you want to is to read a cumbersome book. To my pleasure, Lite's approach is light--just like her name--from the very beginning. First, the color of the book as well as the printing--in blue--are very tranquil. Plus, Lite uses a blend of narrative, bullet points, questions to think about, strategies, her own experience and the experience of other parents to bring out strategies for families. Everything really flows well and each point is brought out in a format for you to read quickly and process easily. I love this because it truly allows you to use the book in the moment to come up with strategies. While ideally you would already have some skills before these moments arise, in reality we are all busy so there are times when you will need info on the fly. This book is perfect for that!
Tackling a Wide Range of Stresses
Stress Free Kids covers a wide range of stresses from school to home to holidays to death to terror attacks--everything is in this book. Lite covers all of these topics in such an easy to understand manner that you will find yourself empowered with new ways to help your children. Plus, Lite provides tools along the way to help yourself. After all, a stressed out parent will have a stressed out kid. While I certainly learned a lot from Lite, I was happy to see that I already use a number of techniques. For example, when my daughter gets overly angry, I try to find some way that she can let her energy out. Alternatively, we try to employ breathing exercises. I love that while Lite is providing strategies for handling tough situations, she also is encouraging parents.We have a tendency to blame ourselves. Yet, we are not doing everything wrong!
Stress Free Kids is full of so many ideas, you will definitely find some strategies to try! I love that some of Lite's ideas are hands-on---which really resonates with kids. Using a memory box to help kids cope with losing loved one--totally ingenuous! Plus, she incorporates mantras throughout the book. You will find that a number of these will work for you and a number will work for your child. If only I had some of these mantras when I was younger....
I recommend Stress Free Kids to any parent. As parents, we face our own stress as well as become anxious when our child is feeling stress. Lite's book has such an easy manner about it that not only will it help you develop useful strategies for combating stress but will also calm you down while you are reading it!