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Stand Up To Stress Activity Kit

From the National Institute of Mental Health, this coloring and activity book educates children about stress, anxiety, and healthy ways to manage our mental health. 

Stand Up To Stress

Parenting Video of the Month


Parent Self-Care and Family Resources

Self-Care Tips for Parents & Caregivers

All-Weather Family Activities

Parent_Caregiver Self-Care Tips  Parent_Caregiver Self-Care Tips    All Weather Family Activities   All Weather Family Activities SPAN

Palo Alto University Parenting Tip

The Palo Alto Parenting tips below came directly from the free, online Everyday Parenting program created by parenting expert, Dr. Kazdin. To learn more parenting tips from Dr. Kazdin click here.
Scroll to the bottom of the page for a new tip each month. 


To model desired behaviors:

ModelingModeling Spanish
Modeling refers to teaching by example. Your child will learn by observing your actions and the actions of others. For example, you could model being kind to others by greeting your neighbors or offering to help other family members around the home. Make sure to keep praising the behaviors that you want to see (“Great job helping your sibling with their homework”).



To praise positive behaviors:
Parenting_PraiseParenting_Praise SPAN


It is natural for us to pay attention to behaviors that are irritating, worrisome, or make us want to disappear from embarrassment. Usually, when our child is calm, quiet, and self-entertained, we breathe a sigh of relief. However, this inadvertently teaches our children that they can get our attention by being disruptive. The good news is that we can reverse this pattern by paying attention to our child’s positive behaviors.

Try praising something positive that your child is doing each morning and evening (for example, "Good job sharing with your sibling"). We are used to noticing disruptive behaviors, so praising your child's positive behaviors will take some practice and patience - but will ultimately benefit both you and your child. 


To provide effective instructions:
ANTECEDENTS_SPAN We give our kids dozens of instructions each day: Get ready for school. Wash your hands before you eat. Do your homework. Sometimes our kids follow our instructions, and sometimes they do not. One way to increase follow-through is to give effective instructions. For example, making eye contact with your child and gently telling them to turn off the TV is likely to be more effective than yelling at them from another room.

Think about a few things that you would like your child to do and try using these tips to provide effective instructions.

Instead of saying…


“Don’t bother me.”

“Please work on your homework.”


“Please turn off the TV.”

“I told you to stop playing video games.”

“If you don’t stop playing video games in the next 5 minutes, then you won’t be able to play tomorrow.”


Shaping involves rewarding small behaviors that build toward the final behavior you wish to see. To do this:


We all tend to avoid tasks that we do not enjoy. Unfortunately, many of the tasks that we ask of our kids, such as working on homework or doing chores, are not enjoyable. Shaping can help make some of these tasks more manageable.

Try this with a few tasks that your child has struggled to complete. For example, you could try praising your child for working on their homework for 10 minutes, then 20 minutes, and so on. You could also try rewarding your child for completing one step of their chores, then two steps, and so on. With practice and patience, those unenjoyable tasks will become easier and easier to complete.

Improving Your or Your Child's Mood

Stressful events influence our thoughts (words or images that pop into our mind), feelings (our emotions), and actions (what we do or say).
For example, if your childcare falls through, then you might think, "my day is ruined;" you might feel frustrated; and you might act short-tempered with your child, partner, or colleagues. Doing enjoyable activities can prevent stressful events from ruining our day.


To improve your (or your child's) mood:

1) Track your mood throughout the day (e.g., rate how you feel each morning, afternoon, and evening from 1 = unhappy to 5 = happy).

2) Create a list of activities that you enjoy doing.

3) Schedule one or more of these activities.

4) Do the scheduled activity.

5) Compare your mood before and after doing the activity.


Watch this video to learn more about how doing fun activities can make you (or your child) feel better: Tools for Children and Parents

Calming Your Mind

When we feel stressed, our minds tend to jump to the past (I should have...) or to the future (What if...?). The problem is that we cannot change the past nor control the future. Focusing on the present can help us take control of our current situation and help us feel calmer and more relaxed.

To calm your (or your child's) mind, try doing the following:

1) Name five things that you see. Pick one, and describe it in detail (e.g., color, size, shape, etc.)

2) Look for four things you can touch. Pick one, and describe how it feels.

3) Name three things that you can hear. Focus on one sound, and describe it.

4) Look for two things you can smell. Focus on one smell, and describe.

5) Find one things you can taste. Focus on the tase and describe it.

You can repeat these steps every time you feel stressed to come back to the present moment.

These tips came directly from the free, online toolkit from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Check back every month for updated information.

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