SPOTLIGHT: KIDS HAVE STRESS TOO! Psychology Foundation of Canada


(Arti Freeman) #1

"Stress among children is estimated to have increased 45% over the past 30 years. Learning to Manage Stress is an important life skill for everyone." Psychology Foundation of Canada

In this short video Dr. Jean Clinton, a leading child development expert, discusses stress and its impact on the brain. While stress itself is normal part of life, too much stress or persistent stress becomes toxic, and impedes the ability of children to learn. According to Dr. Jean, children can be taught to manage stress and anxiety.

The Psychology Foundation of Canada (PFC) has created Kids Have Stress Too (KHST), a research based program, developed with experts in psychology, child development and other professionals. KHST helps parents, caregivers and educators understand childhood stress and provides them with the knowledge, awareness, skills to help children become more resilient by dealing with and managing stress effectively. According to PFC, children can be taught to manage stress effectively, and evaluations done on the program have proven this.

Evaluation conducted on children that participated in the KHST program found that KHST contributes to increasing the ability of children to recognize and understand stress. It also found that the program provides students with practical strategies to manage stress. Evaluation conducted with parents showed an 88% increase in their understanding of children’s reactions to stress, and in their own ability to help their children cope effectively with stress.

Check out these short videos by Dr. Robin Alter, A Child Psychologist and Volunteer with the Psychology Foundation of Canada.

What is Stress?

Helping your child deal with stress

Activities you can do at home with young children

Activities you can do with school aged children

Do you have other activities you use to help children manage stress? Please share your insights and resources!

Top posts of 2018
(Pfc Discuss) #2

Thanks Arti. We would also like to share this PowerPoint which provides an overview of our proven and evaluated Kids Have Stress Too! (KHST!) program. Any questions or if you’re interested in implementing this program please reach out!

Also check out our website for more evidence based programs in support of mental wellness promotion with children

(Anne Lovegrove) #3

Thanks @Pfc_Discuss and @Arti! What is great about our stress program is that we have a number of age appropriate resources that are curriculum linked:

  • Preschool Kindergarten and Parent
  • KHST! (Grades 1-3)
  • Stress Lessons (Grades 4-6)
  • From Stressed Out to Chilled Out (Grades 7-9)
  • Stress Lessons: Tools for Resiliency (Grades 9-12)

(Briana Leal) #4

What I love about this program is that you also have the opportunity to participate in a workshop to understand the resource better. Here are some testimonials from past workshop participants:

“Kids are very responsive and love it! They use the strategies in everyday life.”

“The material helps students understand the brain and physiological responses to stressors, and also helps them understand their own triggers and how to begin the process of calming during stressful times.”

“I learned how to help manage kids stress and technique tips to help them.”

(Arti Freeman) #5

Just had a peek at your other programs.

Do you have evidence on the Make the Connection program?

I’m also curious what tools you use to measure the change in behaviour in parents for this program and the measurement tools / approaches for KHST?

(Arti Freeman) #6

Thanks @Anne_Lovegrove,

How many schools in Ontario implement this program? Also wondering are community agencies implementing it in after school programming? Are they able to do so if they were interested?

(Pfc Discuss) #8

Great question @Arti. Research was recently published on the effectiveness of the MTC program. Click here and on page 7 of our Fall 2018 Newsletter there is a summary of this research. This study shows that PFC’s Make the Connection program (MTC) is effective in promoting positive parent-to-infant attachment, and the authors recommended that public health officials should consider including MTC initiatives that target parenting skills. There is a workshop in the GTA coming soon if you are interested, please click here.

(Anne Lovegrove) #9

We have a number of schools and school boards who implement our programs throughout Ontario. Teachers, ECEs, Public Health and Mental Health Professionals all use our program - in schools, after schools, in community centres. We have close to 15,000 community champions across Ontario who are trained and facilitate the KHST Pre-School and Parent program and close to 6,500 Community Champions who are trained and facilitate the Grades 1-3, 7-9 and Stress Lessons. Any one interested in this program, please contact us at

(MDuiker) #10

These programs are great!

Here are a few more tools that teachers I know use that I’d like to throw into the mix. They are a number of youtube videos (available through all platforms with access to YouTube) created to walk kids through mindfulness exercises.

The Mind Yeti service on YouTube is one such resource:

And Go Noodle’s Flow video playlist is also quite good:

(Lisa Pinto) #11

Hi everyone! Wanted to share an app that I use with my kids called Stop, Breathe and Think (I use the grownup version too). Here’s a snippet from their website:

“Taking a mindful moment with your child each day to stop, breathe and think can make all the difference. In fact, these three steps can be so effective at helping kids manage their stress better that we’ve named our company after them.”

Any others try this app? Unfortunately it’s only for iPhone users - would love to hear if you have Android equivalents…