Watch those stress-meters

Recently, I found myself going through my old high school yearbooks.  I won't mention what year I graduated, but it's been awhile.  Reading the comments from my friends brought more than a few laughs.  One in particular caught my attention.  It ended with "P.S. Chill out a little.  The stress-meter is practically in the red zone.  That is not an insult :)"  (I would give credit if I could read the signature.)  At first I smiled a little and then I remembered,  I was a stressed out hot mess!In context, it was my Senior year, so I was dealing with college acceptance, financial aid and finishing school.  That doesn't even touch the social pressures I was under.  High School was not my "glory days".Children, tweens, teenagers.  I'm sure you know some, or have some yourself.  They are under all sorts of pressure.  Looking for acceptance from peers, teachers and parents.  Test anxiety.  Peer pressure.  Bullying.   New to a school.  Moving.   Teaching children to manage stress is an important life long tool.  If only I had learned it at an earlier age!Look for signs of stress and anxiety in your children.  Here is a quick article on identifying stress in children.While most articles point out nutrition and exercise are important factors in the lives of children.  I think touch and massage are equally important.  Massage and touch are more beneficial than "moral support".  (Think of the difference between someone saying "I'm sorry" and giving you a hug)  Massage reduces cortisol levels, "the stress hormone".  Live by example.  Give a quick back and shoulder rub to your children before bed.  Or send the child in your life in for a massage with a professional.