Stress doesn’t knock on your door; it enters directly in life. While stress is a part of grown-ups’ lives today, alas, it is becoming a part of kids’ lives as well, implying that childhood is not just about fun and games entirely, even kids can feel stressed and troubled.
Before moving towards coping mechanism for stress in child, understanding the roots is significant. Here are some signs and symptoms
Signs and Symptoms of stress in child
- Short-term behavioral changes, such as mood swings, acting out, and changes in sleep patterns
- Physical effects, including stomachaches and headaches
- Trouble in concentrating or completing schoolwork
- Thumb sucking, hair twirling, or nose picking in younger children
- Lying, bullying, or defying authority in older children
- Overreacting to minor problems, getting nightmares, becoming clingy, or having drastic changes in academic performance.
What can parents do about stress in child?
“Downtime” to rejuvenate stress in child
One of the biggest stressors for kids is being overscheduled. And yet, expected to perform in school for seven hours, excel at extracurricular activities, finish homework, and hit the sack to repeat all the next day. However, “Where’s the downtime?” Kids require downtime to rejuvenate their brains and bodies. So analyze your kids’ schedules over the course of a week and ensure the availability of some hours or a few entertaining evenings when your child can kick back and relax.
Listen to their bodies
Teach your kids “to understand their own bodies and the physiology of stress.” For instance, sit in the car with your child, and press the gas and brake, and listen to revving. Describe to your child “our body just revs and revs, and then it exhausts and says ‘enough.’” Encourage your child to listen to what their bodies are responding. Be it stomachache or a headache, always notice the signs and symptoms in your little one.
Prepare your child to deal with mistakes
Fear of making mistakes can drive plenty of stress in child. Remind them that they’re not supposed to know “how to do everything right.” Also, learning a skill to make good decisions is important. However, the skill that might be more important to learn is how to recover from a bad decision. “We can really build stress in child by not helping them understand that screwing up is part of the process.” Help your child learn to figure out the next steps after a mistake. Help them figure out how to fix it, make amends, learn the lesson and move on!!
Make Good-mornings- Good
A disorganized home is another stressful trigger for kids that are especially evident in the mornings. Make mornings smoother, happier and enthusiastic because this “sets the tone for the day”. Inspirit to make their ‘Good mornings’ actually good – with a smiling face, good breakfast. And oh, to relieve stress “a big bear hug” can really turn out to be magic for your child.
Overall, parents should look at the bigger picture –take a pledge to combat stress from your and your child’s life. “You can’t live a stressful life and then teach stress management.” When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
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