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Did you know that breathing is the easiest to learn and provides the fastest results to lowering a persons stress level!

Want to reduce your Heart rate and you blood pressure?
If you sit down 3 times a day and work at having less than 10 breaths per minute, you will reduce your heart rate, your blood pressure, and increase the circulation of blood throughout your body.

Food as a coping skill
Using food to calm a oneself is considered a negative stress coping skill.  There may be times that you may need to use that skill anyway.  Yes, Ice Cream will calm you and it will calm your child as well. 
By all means at times use ice cream to help calm yourself or your child.  Just don't do it so much that you set up a negative habit. There are times when the stress is so large you might find yourself having to use a negative coping skill such as getting some ice cream.  By all means, you probably should get the ice cream and you need it.  You just don't want to make it a regular habit, because in the long run it can do more damage than good. Just keep an eye on it and use it in moderation.

Can you teach positive coping skills to your child?
Yes, Indirectly.  Directly probably not, chances are that it won't work if you try to teach this to your child directly.  At first the child might be receptive, but then chances are the child will rebel against it.  The best way to teach this to your child is by modeling it yourself. It is slow that way and takes a much longer time, but the chances of the child learning it is much higher.

Does your child need to learn positive stress coping skills?
YES! It is very important your child learn positive ways to cope with his/her stress.  Your child can set up part of his/her foundation by learning this.  A child who has experienced trauma or has attachment disorder is a child who is highly stressed.  The child usually lives in a high state of stress and has lived in it so long that people and the child don't even recognize they are stressed. 

Pet therapy
Pet therapy can be very helpful to adults and children.  If using this to help a child, make sure the child is supervised at all times with a pet.  Never leave a child alone with a pet.  In an unsupervised situation the child could easily become stressed and hurt the pet.

I'm in high stress all the time!
Remember, if you remain in high stress situations for a long time the body forgets what to do when out of the stress.  You must re-teach your body what to do and how to calm.  This is an involuntary function of the nervous system.