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We often think of children as having it easy- I mean, after all, what is so stressful about being a child? Well, as it turns out, when you think about it, being a child is pretty overwhelming.

Think about it: the world is brand new, they have almost zero control over their lives, and their brain isn’t 100% developed. The world is a pretty chaotic and scary place when you are small and have little choice over what happens in your life. With that said, when life becomes complicated, and your little one needs help navigating through their big emotions, what do to? I’m glad you asked. Below, we will go over 6 things to help your little one move through being overwhelmed.

1. Ask why they are overwhelmed and listen.

When your child is overwhelmed, do not assume you know why. Instead, ask them what is bothering them. If you can help lift some of the weight off of their shoulders or offer solutions or just support, provide them with that.

2. Stay in the present.

Do not get too bogged down with the future and make sure that they don’t either. If what they are stressing about is something that has yet to happen, help them get back into the present. Remind them to focus on what is in front of them.

3. Hug it out.

Sometimes, your little one just simply needs a big hug. No matter what their age is.

4. Take them for a walk.

Nature can be quite healing, and so can exercise. If your little one is dealing with big stress and feeling overwhelmed, help them get outside the situation, and talk it out.

5. Discuss what they can or cannot control.

Listen to what your child is overwhelmed about, and then assess what is and what isn’t in their control. If they are stressing about things that they have no control over, gently remind them of that, and redirect them on the path over which they do have some control.

6. Have them write it out.

Additionally, it could be beneficial to get them a notebook and have them write out what is on their mind. Next, you can help them focus on what they can do now and plan for what they can deal with next. You’d be surprised at how much journaling and planning can alleviate feelings of overwhelm.