As parents, there’s practically nothing more painful or difficult that when your children are anxious.
Sometimes, it’s evident that your child is suffering from stress: they are more agitated or cry more often than they normally do or your instincts to parent suggest that something’s “off” with them.
Sometimes it’s unclear if your child is suffering from stress and you might be overwhelmed. Most children don’t have the ability to sit down with their parents and inform them that they’re anxious. In addition, stress in children may not appear in the same manner as the stress that adults experience.
If you’ve thought to yourself “Is my child dealing with stress?” You aren’t the only one. Let’s examine the signs of stress in children with symptoms and signs and what triggers stress and the best way to manage.
Symptoms Of Stress In Children
Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time however, as we age we usually recognize stress. You may feel stress in the body and headaches, heartbeats that race along with general senses of fear and anxiety.
Children often lack the words to describe the feelings they’re feeling and they might not know the fact that what they’re feeling is stress.
Like adults, children also experience stress as a result of stressful events that occur throughout their life. As parents, it’s crucial to be able to be aware of the signs and symptoms to be able to assist them deal with the stress.
- A child suffering from stress might have difficulty sleeping. Despite being tired, they could struggle to fall asleep or not staying asleep.
- There could be changes in the eating patterns of your kid. They might be eating significantly less, or may be eating more.
- Children with stress levels are more susceptible to sleepless nights and episodes of bedwetting
- They may experience pains in the stomach and headaches. Students are likely to frequent the nurse’s office in stressful times.
- Stressed children are more susceptible to meltdowns and is less likely to adhere to your rules at home.
- Your child may not wish to be involved in the activities they typically like, and may prefer to stay at home
- Children who are older may not be able to complete homework when they’re stressed. They may not be motivated to finish the chores of their home
- Your child could regress back to less mature behavior you thought they had outgrown
- The new, anxious behaviors like thumb sucking, pick-up of the nose and nail biting could be seen in children younger than
- Younger children may display aggressive or even bully behavior.
- The older kids might experience noticeable decreases in their grades or academic performance
- Your child might be extremely moody, smiling one moment, and unhappy the next.
- Children who are older can be angry, angry, and rueful
- Children who are stressed can become more attached to their parents and be unable to experiment with new ways or meet new people.
- Your child might be unable to control their emotions or behave in a way that makes them appear more emotional
- Your child might experience increased levels of anxiety and worry.
What Causes Stress In Kids?
If your child is showing symptoms of stress, you must take every step to make them get more relaxed. One of the initial and most crucial steps you can take is to determine why your child might be being stressed.
Recognizing the source of your child’s stress is the initial step in helping them to cope and deal with their anxiety.
The possible reasons for stress in children could be:
- A life that is too busy, with too many things to do and not enough rest time
- Social or academic pressure at school
- Dissociating from parents is a challenge (separation anxiety)
- Family financial stress or a parent having work stress
- Sorge about the health and well-being of a family member
- Divorce or separation of parents
- The death of a loved one
- Moving to a new location or beginning an entirely new school
- Are you experiencing homelessness or instability in your housing
- Afraid of your neighborhood or in a home that is unsafe
- Experienced puberty as well as other changes to your body
- Troubles within a child’s peer circles, such as disagreements and pressure from peers
- Feeling bullying
- Be concerned and worried about the frightful global events, such as mass shootings and wars
A lot of the reasons for stress stem from the experiences that children go through directly. However, children are sponges and pick up the stress of others and result in them experiencing stress. Being aware of any you are feeling and how it impacts your child, is a crucial aspect.
How To Cope
Although stress is something everyone experiences now and then and even children, it’s certainly not something we should take for and take for granted. In some ways stress can aid children to improve their lives and develop resilience. On the other hand persistent stress could cause problems that last a lifetime for children.
For instance, a report published in American Sociological Association found that children whose parents were diagnosed with mental health problems are more likely to suffer from distress when they became adults. Stress levels as adults depended on the length of time kids were subjected to the pressures of parents with mental illness, and how serious the parents’ health problems were.
Other studies have shown that children who are subject to “toxic stress” –defined to be stress that lasts for a long time, is intense, and not controlled by a loving parent or another authority figure –may have lasting effects on a child’s mental and physical health throughout adulthood.
As a parent you have a crucial part to play in the way your child handles stress. You cannot always prevent the anxiety from arising at all however, you can help your child get through it in a way that allows them to take the lessons learned and build their confidence at the end of the day.
Here are some suggestions to help your child cope with stress:
- Create a safe space, without judgment to express their emotions
- Be a good listener. Let your child share their thoughts without trying to block them out or correct them.
- Modify how they feel.
- Children who are younger may require help identify their feelings and help in understanding how stress manifests in their bodies
- Set up routines that are predictable for your child based on how your day will be structured as well as mealtimes and bedtimes They can be comforting for children in stressful times.
- Make sure that your child gets enough rest, enough time outside exercising, and is eating healthy regular food intake
- Spend some time every day to ensure that your child has your full attention, whether that’s engaging with them, talking with them, or just listening to their thoughts
- Your child should be prepared for stressful situations and describing the expected outcome and answering any questions they might be asked.
- Inspire older kids to type down their feelings or to do some journaling
- Make mindfulness and meditation a regular activities with your child. There are a variety of meditation apps available designed for children that could be helpful.
When To Seek Professional Help
Sometimes you’re not able to go it on your own, and your child’s levels of stress have reached an extent that they require professional assistance to help them get through. The signs that your child could need therapy or counseling or an appointment with your pediatrician. Some of these include:
- Your child has begun to be withdrawn from you or their friends.
- Your child is not experiencing only stress, but also signs of depression or anxiety.
- Your child isn’t able to control their anger or their aggression.
- Your child is having difficulty performing at school or in social situations.
Parents should also seek professional assistance in case they’re having difficulty with aiding their child. Inability to support your child could cause anxiety and stress. Therefore, you could get additional help for yourself while you assist your child through this.
A Word From Motivational Wizard
Although certain indicators that stress is a problem in kids are evident, most times it isn’t easy to determine when your child may be dealing with stress. If you’ve educated yourself on the symptoms that stress is affecting your kid, but you’re still not sure whether your child is suffering from stress, it is best to contact your pediatrician with any further concerns.
There are children who aren’t only dealing with stress, but might be struggling with an intellectual disability, ADHD, or another mental health disorder that is creating the symptoms. It’s important to remember that although many stress-related situations can be handled with the most basic of coping strategies however, extreme stressors like the loss of a beloved one divorce, bullying at school, or the death of a loved one at school — may require more assistance from a counselor or therapy.
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