Teaching your children how to cope with challenges in life is one of the most important things you can do for them. You can use Change to Chill and the ideas below to help. You might find some strategies that help you too!
No parent wants to see their child totally stressed out (or to be stressed out themselves). Stress makes family life challenging for everyone. However, as much as we might like to shelter our families from it all, there are a lot of different pressures in life and some stress is normal and unavoidable. Fortunately there are also many positive ways of dealing with it.
We know that teens in particular aren’t always receptive to parents’ advice. So we’ve developed a structure for using the Change to Chill website with family members that allows for tweaks and adjustments to suit your unique needs. Follow your child’s lead as to what’s important and helpful. The most important thing is to introduce Change to Chill so they know they can turn to it for ideas and information anywhere and anytime they have access to the Internet.
Watch the Change to Chill intro video together.
Encourage your teen to take the Stress Factors quiz. Better yet, both of you take it at the same time on separate computers. There are five questions and no right or wrong answers. Be sure to give your teen privacy but also be there if they want to talk. By taking the quiz your son or daughter will learn about where their own stress is coming from and what stress does to them.
After the 5th and final question is answered and they click “next,” a results page will appear. Take time for reviewing the customized results and exploring the recommended resources on the website. Again, don’t pressure your teen to share their answers or results if they don’t want to. Note that answers are not saved on the website and will disappear once you leave the site.
Watch the Stress Test video together. Then read through the Causes of Stress. Talk about the different sources of stress you each experience. Has that changed over time? Do the same things that caused you stress when you were younger bother you now? What do you both think might be some sources of stress in the future? Explain again that Change to Chill is all about learning to deal with stress and change your ways of thinking to help you thrive in spite of whatever life throws your way.
Mindfulness and meditation are two of the healthiest and most effective stress-busting strategies.
Change to Chill has a number of options for learning about mindfulness and trying meditation with the help of videos and guided audio recordings. Learning some easy relaxation and meditation techniques can help you think more clearly, make better decisions, and manage whatever comes your way. Take a few minutes to explore the different meditations and then go to Mindful Eating at the very bottom of the page. Paying focused attention while eating a small treat such as a piece of dried fruit or individually wrapped candy is a simple, fun way to learn about the concept of mindfulness. Read through the instructions together and then do the activity following the step-by-step directions. After you’ve finished, talk about it:
Stay on the Try Meditation tab. Use the online five-minute video to have a first-hand meditation experience.
Get in a comfortable position. Either watch the full video quietly together or close your eyes and listen…whatever you prefer. At the end take a few minutes to discuss what you both thought of the experience.
Watch the Guided Imagery video together and try one of the processes, either to de-stress or to focus on a future goal. At the end talk about how you think you could use this strategy in different specific situations.
Changing to Chill is what’s known as a practice. It’s something you do regularly and learn about over time. No one ever just learns to relax once and then has it mastered. Fortunately the Change to Chill resources are available any time and anywhere young people have Internet access. To encourage your teen and yourself to stay motivated to continue what you’ve started today, choose one activity or suggestion from the website that you are each committed to trying over the next week. Agree to come back together in seven days specifically to review the website and talk about what you tried and how it went.