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21st Century Kids: Stress Less

Mona Gilbert, Children's Librarian, Northridge Branch Library,
Young girl facing her laptop in a stress-free pose
Mindful Activities can help relieve feelings of stress

A common wish for adults is to return to childhood where it's assumed stress is non-existent. Although memories of play are at the forefront of this erroneous belief, stress is very real for kids in the 21st Century. Not only do young people worry about their interpersonal relationships, but achieving perfection seems to permeate the life of many kids as well. The Los Angeles Public Library helps provide young people with tools and resources to manage stress. Maybe the best coping strategy is summed up by Mr. (Fred) Rogers: "When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary."

Stress in a Nutshell

Kids feel stress for various reasons, but striving for perfection can create a stressful situation. Having the mindset of being the best at everything adds an immense amount of pressure. It's important to accept: mistakes are part of the learning process and necessary for growth in any endeavor.

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new”—Albert Einstein

Life in Numbers: Stressed Out
Prather, Michelle R.

Stress Can Really Get on Your Nerves!
Romain, Trevor

Stress’s Impact

When stress has too much power, it can affect overall health. The following humorous books depict stress in action and its effect on well-being.

Telgemeier, Raina

Charlie Changes Into a Chicken
Copeland, Sam

Coping Strategies

Mindful Activities can help relieve feelings of stress. Making origami animals for example encourages concentration and being in the present moment.

There are a myriad of methods and strategies for relieving stress available. Here is a small sampling of books that help manage stress.

Worry: A Smart Girl's Guide
Woodburn, Judy

Master of Mindfulness
Grossman, Laurie

Mindful Me: Mindfulness and Meditation for Kids
Stewart, Whitney

Letting Go Of Stress
Jackson, J. S.

Music is My Life
Tanzer, Myles