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Stress can cause kids anxiety. This anxiety can get in the way of their schoolwork, and, more importantly, their happiness.


Which makes parents anxious too. Luckily, there’s a solution.

Here are six tips for coping when you have an anxious child:

1. Be kind to yourself

Beating yourself up for worrying only makes you more anxious. You’re human and you love your kids, so you are stressed about their success. That’s totally normal—it’s good! It’s way better than the alternative of not caring.

So if your anxiety pops up in some way you regret later, give yourself a break. Recognize that you want to improve, and that’s a great first step. Think about how you can do better next time and pat yourself on the back for coming up with a strategy to improve your parenting!

Change takes time. Give yourself a little reward (maybe a pat on the back, a kind thought, or a piece of chocolate) every time you do a bit better in those particularly stressful moments.

When your kids see you being kind to yourself when you mess up, (even better: talk to them about it!), they will start to learn it’s okay to not be perfect and they will start being kinder to themselves too.

2. Teach your kids self-calming techniques

Here are a few suggestions for daily self-calming techniques you can practice with your kids:

  • Meditation. I love guided meditation because it helps me feel like I’m meditating correctly. Before I used an app, I would actually stress out during meditation that I was doing it wrong! Now, I use an app called Calm (but there are tons of options out there) for only 10 minutes a day and I don’t judge myself. I’ve been doing it for about two years now. What I’ve found is it’s much easier for me to recognize when my heart rate starts to rise and to think about taking a breath to calm myself down. For younger kids, there’s a great book with a CD called Sitting Still Like a Frog to help get them into meditation.
  • Yoga. I practice yoga with my 3-year-old nephew. He loves showing off what he can do and hissing when he does his “Cobra” pose.
  • Hot chocolate and chat. Start a new habit. When your child gets home from school, have some hot chocolate ready and just sit in a cozy spot together and talk about anything—what to do this weekend, what movies she wants to see—anything not related to school that’s all about her interests. If your child is younger, maybe use the time to read a book together. This gives your child a moment to reset after a long day at school before diving into homework or back into the stresses of social media.

3. Break the negative thought cycle

Often with anxiety, we can get caught up in catastrophic thinking. If this project isn’t perfect, I’ll get a B in this class, and you need straight A’s to even be considered for the colleges I want to go to. I’m never getting into college! I’m not smart enough!

When you see your child starting to struggle like this, try to talk through their thinking and gently question those catastrophic thoughts.

For the example above, you can start with, “Oh dear. I’m sorry this is so hard! How many points is it worth?” Follow that up with other questions that start to correct his conclusion that he’s never getting into college.

4. Improve empathy

According to Michele Borba, author of UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World, “The ability to empathize affects our kids’ future health, wealth, authentic happiness, relationship satisfaction, and ability to bounce back from adversity.” Empathy improves our relationships and relationships are one of the antidotes to stress because they provide support.

A couple quick ways to work on increasing your kids’ empathy:

  • When you feel strongly about something, perhaps while watching a movie, talk about it. This will help your kids to start thinking about their own feelings and eventually the feelings of others.
  • Come up with a family motto, such as “We are kind” or “We are brave” and at dinner talk about how you showed your family trait that day.

5. Reframe your vision of “success”

Going to the right college, getting the right job, making the right amount of money—that all sounds good, but if your kids aren’t happy, are they really thriving? And isn’t that what we want for our kids? For them to thrive?

Instead of worrying if your kid is a B student, help her find and pursue passions that are meaningful.

For instance, if she loves animals, buy her books about animals, get involved with the local animal shelter, and encourage her to figure out what she can do to make life better for animals.. By pursuing passions, kids will find meaningful work they love, and they will thrive.

6. Find time to play

Education reformist and author of Creating Innovators, Tony Wagner explains that finding passions comes through play. Play also gives your kids a break during the day—time for their brains to relax and for them to enjoy themselves. Giving your kids the gift of play can help protect them from too much stress.

There are lots of reasons kids are anxious. You can help ease their anxiety by being a calm role model they can look up to for inspiration.

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

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Parents in New Jersey will soon get more money and more time for parental leave after welcoming a baby.

This week New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed off on legislation that extends New Jersey's paid family leave from six weeks to 12.

It also increases the benefit cap from 53% of the average weekly wage to 70%, meaning the maximum benefit for a parent on family leave will be $860 a week, up from $650.

It might not seem like a huge difference, but by raising the benefit from two-thirds of a parent's pay to 85%, lawmakers in New Jersey are hoping to encourage more parents to actually take leave, which is good for the parents, their baby and their family. "Especially for that new mom and dad, we know that more time spent bonding with a child can lead to a better long-term outcome for that child," Murphy said at a press conference this week.

The law will also make it easier for people to take time off when a family member is sick.

Because NJ's paid leave is funded through payroll deductions, workers could see an increase in those deductions, but Murphy is betting that workers and businesses will see the benefits in increasing paid leave benefits. "Morale goes up, productivity goes up, and more money goes into the system," Murphy said. "And increasingly, companies big and small realize that a happy workforce and a secure workforce is a key ingredient to their success."

The new benefits will go into effect in July 2020 (making next Halloween a good time to get pregnant in the Garden State).

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Whether you just need to stock up on diapers or you've had your eye on a specific piece of baby gear, you might want to swing by your local Walmart this Saturday, February 23rd.

Walmart's big "Baby Savings Day" is happening from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at participating Walmarts (but more deals can be found online at Walmart.com already and the website deals are happening for the rest of the month).

About 3,000 of the 3,570 Supercenter locations are participating in the sale (check here to see if your local Walmart is).

The deals vary, but in general you can expect up to 30% off on items like cribs, strollers, car seats, wipes, diapers and formula.

Some items, like this Graco Modes 3 Lite Travel System have been marked down by more than $100. Other hot items include this Lille Baby Complete Carrier (It's usually $119, going for $99 during the sale) and the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat (for as low as $199).

So if you're in need of baby gear, you should check out this sale. Travel gear isn't the only category that's been marked down, there are some steep discounts on breast pumps, too.

Many of the Walmart locations will also be offering samples and expert demos of certain products on Saturday so it's worth checking out!

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Any Schumer has not had an easy pregnancy. She intended to keep working, but if you follow her on social media you know she's been very sick through each trimester.

And now in her final trimester she's had to cancel her tour due to hyperemesis gravidarum, also known as HG. It's a rare but very serious form of extreme morning sickness, and on Friday evening Schumer announced she is canceling the rest of her tour because of it.

“I vomit every time [I] ride in a car even for 5 minutes," Schumer explained in an Instagram post.

Due to the constant vomiting she's not cleared to fly and just can't continue to the tour.

This is not the first time Schumer has had to make an announcement about HG. Back in November, just weeks after announcing her pregnancy, she had to cancel shows and again broke the news via Instagram.

She posted a photo of herself in a hospital bed with her little dog Tati, and spelled out the details of her health issues in the caption. "I have hyperemesis and it blows," Schumer wrote.

Poor Amy. Hyperemesis gravidarum is really tough.

Kate Middleton, Ayesha Curry and Motherly co-founder Elizabeth Tenety are among those who, like Schumer, have suffered from this form of severe morning sickness that can be totally debilitating.

As she previously wrote for Motherly, Tenety remembers becoming desperately ill, being confined to her apartment (mostly her bed) and never being far from a trash can, "I lost 10% of my body weight. I became severely dehydrated. I couldn't work. I couldn't even get out of bed. I could barely talk on the phone to tell my doctor how sick I was—begging them to please give me something, anything—to help."

Thankfully, she found relief through a prescription for Zofran, an anti-nausea drug.


Schumer probably knows all about that drug. It looks she is getting the medical help she obviously needs, and she was totally right to cancel the tour in order to stay as healthy as possible.

We're glad to see Schumer is getting help, and totally understand why she would have to cancel her shows. Any mama who has been through HG will tell you, that wouldn't be a show you'd want front row seats for anyway.

Get well soon, Amy!

[A version of this post was published November 15, 2018. It has been updated.]

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As a military spouse, Cydney Cooper is used to doing things alone. But when she delivered her twin daughters early after complications due to Influenza A, she was missing her husband Skylar more than ever.

Recovering from the flu and an emergency C-section, and trying to parent the couple's two older boys and be with her new infant daughters in the NICU, Cydney was exhausted and scared and just wanted her husband who was deployed in Kuwait with the Army and wasn't expected home for weeks.

Alone in the NICU 12 days after giving birth, Cydney was texting an update on the twins to her husband when he walked through the door to shoulder some of the massive burden this mama was carrying.

"I was typing up their summary as best I could and trying to remember every detail to tell him when I looked up and saw him standing there. Shock, relief, and the feeling that everything was just alright hit me at once. I just finally let go," she explains in a statement to Motherly.

The moment was captured on video thanks to a family member who was in on Skylar's surprise and the reunion has now gone viral, having been viewed millions of times. It's an incredible moment for the couple who hadn't seen each other since Skylar had a three-day pass in seven months earlier.

Cydney had been caring for the couple's two boys and progressing in her pregnancy when, just over a week before the viral video was taken, she tested positive for Influenza A and went into preterm labor. "My husband was gone, my babies were early, I had the flu, and I was terrified," she tells Motherly.

"Over the next 48 hours they were able to stop my labor and I was discharged from the hospital. It only lasted two days and I went right back up and was in full on labor that was too far to stop."

Cydney needed an emergency C-section due to the babies' positioning, and her medical team could not allow anyone who had previously been around her into the operating room because anyone close to Cydney had been exposed to the flu.

"So I went in alone. The nurses and doctors were wonderful and held my hand through the entire thing but at the same time, I felt very very alone and scared. [Skylar] had been present for our first two and he was my rock and I didn't have him when I wanted him the most. But I did it! He was messaging me the second they wheeled me to recovery. Little did I know he was already working on being on his way."

When he found out his baby girls were coming early Skylar did everything he could to get home, and seeing him walk into the NICU is a moment Cydney will hold in her heart and her memory forever. "I had been having to hop back and forth from our sons to our daughters and felt guilty constantly because I couldn't be with all of them especially with their dad gone. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life and I won't be forgetting it."

It's so hard for a military spouse to do everything alone after a baby comes, and the military does recognize this. Just last month the Army doubled the amount of leave qualifying secondary caregivers (most often dads) can take after a birth or adoption, from 10 days to 21 so that moms like Cydney don't have to do it all alone.

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