Children can get stressed out just like busy working mums but the chances are they won’t display the same symptoms of stress that adults do. It’s important to watch for the common signs of stress in your children so you can catch it before it builds and causes other problems.
If you have had a stress filled day at work its easy to put “bad behaviour” down to kids being teenagers or in the case of teenagers blaming hormones
But what if it’s more than that?
I’ve listed some common symptoms of stress found in children below.
Unexplained Aggression – Many stressed-out children begin to act in ways that are uncharacteristic for them and are aggressive in nature. For example kicking, hitting, biting and other aggressive actions.
Anger – Many children who are under stress don’t know how to deal with it and have “meltdowns” over things that are normally small. This happens because the stress builds up and they don’t know how to deal with it. Therefore, be on the lookout for unexplained angry outbursts in your children.
Lethargic Behavior – Children can become depressed when they are overrun with stress and one of the common signs of this is a lack of energy, or lethargic behavior. It may not be depression exactly, but may just be your child’s way of dealing with the stress.
Developmental Setbacks – If a child is stressed out, and is still young, you may notice that he or she is adopting habits that have long since been broken. For example, it’s not uncommon for young children under stress to resort back to thumb sucking and/or bed wetting.
What Causes Stress in Kids?
There are lots of things things that can cause stress in children. While they aren’t the normal stressors for adults, these things are big deals to children, so don’t dismiss them. They include a change in family dynamics such as parents who are going through a divorce, constant fighting between parents and siblings or just tension in the home. Other stressors for children include issues at school such as teachers, class difficulty, bullies, exams, homework and much more.
How Can You Help Them Cope?
There are several things that you can do to help your child cope with the amount of stress he or she is under.
Try to Understand – The worst thing you can do is listen to your child and then make a quick judgment of the situation. Don’t do this because it can cause your child to feel foolish and to hide his or her feelings from you. Listen to what he or she is saying and then try to look at it from his or her point of view. Base your response around that viewpoint.
Don’t Dismiss It – When your child shares his feelings with you, don’t dismiss them. Instead, let your child know that it’s okay to feel that way and that you’re always there for him. While you may think your child is over-reacting about something, his feelings are still important and very real.
Identify Stressors – While your child is experiencing the physical and emotional symptoms of stress, they may not connect the two (stress and their symptoms). Therefore, help your child identify the stressors in his or her life and show him or her how those stressors can cause the symptoms they are currently experiencing.
[box]Do you want more time and energy with less guilt?, Do you want to go from stressed and shouty to calm, confident and back in control? – CLICK HERE to gain instant access to $800 of FREE calm mum gifts[/box]