Relieve your Mind with 5 Simple Brainy Tips to Reduce Stress and Bring More Smiles!                                                                                           

Want days that are happier and smoother? Keeping your child’s brain in mind can help to make a very positive difference. Easily meeting a few of the needs of the brain contributes greatly to more smiles in your day.

When provided with what the brain needs, children are likely to be more content and are ready to move, play, learn and simply have a better day…and of course you will also!     


Creating better behavior and more smiles!

Food plays a vital role in how children function, how they feel, and how they behave. Nutrition is often only thought of in relation to the body. But, what is good for the body is also good for the brain.

Lack of providing what the brain needs causes stress. With 5 simple tips you can reduce family stress and create much happier days.


Tip #1
Providing a good breakfast can make a remarkable difference. Ensuring each breakfast includes adequate amounts of protein will contribute to a more content child with a better functioning brain.
Providing simple carbohydrate or sugary foods (or beverages) eaten on an empty stomach instead of foods with protein, complex carbohydrates and omega-3s will result in a crabby and possibly hyperactive child only 30 minutes later.

Brain Insight:
This occurs due to the brain not getting the nutrients it really needs. Young children’s brains are not developed enough to handle all they are feeling. Controlling the agitation, lack of focus and anxiety a child feels as a result of lack of nutrients is too difficult for a still maturing brain. This is why it is called, “out of control” behavior.

Tip #2
Establish daily routines. Consistent routines that happen in nearly the same way each day, provide a sense of predictability for young children. Brains feel comfortable and safe when knowing what to expect next.

Brain Insight:
When children know what happens first, next and last, this also reduces the need for you to give constant   reminders. Children become more self-directed as a result of an established routine, whereas lack of structure and chaos contributes to stress for everyone.


Tip #3
See things from your child’s perspective. Sometimes just knowing that someone else recognizes their feelings, helps a child greatly. Use empathizing statements with an understanding tone of voice, such as, “I know, you would like to stay outside playing even when it is time for lunch.” Or “I understand how much you would rather be playing right now. While we are riding in the car let’s think of a fun game to play together when we get home.” 

Brain Insight:
Demands or commands with a threatening voice can activate the lowest functioning (stress response) systems in the brain. Whereas understanding, laughing and playing together contributes to the higher thinking and care systems of the brain.


Tip #4
Provide choices for your child. When children are given options and are more directly involved in an activity, this can often result in more cooperation. For example: Ask, “Would you like to an apple or orange with your lunch?” or “What do you want to do first, brush your teeth or put on your pajamas?”

Brain Insight:
Stress directly results from the feeling of having a lack of control. Additionally even though some decisions may seem small and unimportant, it is heartwarming for your child to feel respected enough to be offered the opportunity to make decisions.


Tip #5
Ensure your child has enough sleep. Create bedtime routines and provide "brain calming" foods as a bedtime snack such as warm milk, a banana, toast with almond butter, or oatmeal.

Brain Insight:
Sleep enhances cognitive functioning and influences moods. Having enough sleep contributes to a more positive mood. When the brain lacks the sleep it needs, brain systems become out of balance. Brains become more easily agitated when sleep deprived and also usually crave less healthy and more sugary foods.

Finally, the best things to do to keep your own brain happy, is to apply these tips for yourself.

Eat well, get enough sleep, follow a routine and then also notice all the great things you did throughout the day. Parenting is not an easy job, and too often busy parents primarily focus on all that was intended to get done or was planned to be done differently. But, you do many things that contribute positively to the healthy brains of your family… so pay attention to everything you did to contribute to making you and your child smile today!