Manage stress in children with Resiliency Program

When Stress Strikes: How to Recognize and Respond to Your Child’s Needs?

Stress and anxiety have become common issues among children. It has been drastically affecting their health and mental state. Stress at an early age kill the innocence of a child.

According to UNICEF, stress is affecting children just as much as adults, but differently.

The world around us is going through constant change. And this change is affecting your kid’s mind the most. Increasing competition, a load of expectations, and pressure to handle multiple things at a time are key factors responsible for increasing stress in children pushing children over the edge of their mental stability.

You need to recognize and respond to your child’s needs before it is too late.

Recognizing Stress in Children

Children show certain signs/symptoms when they are in stress. These symptoms might be similar to or even sometimes different from the common symptoms of stress in working individuals.

We can classify the signs of stress and anxiety in children in three different categories:

  • Behavioural
  • Emotional
  • Physical

Let us have a look at some of these symptoms…

Behavioural Symptoms:

  • Uncontrolled anger
  • Irrational crying, whining
  • Recurring fears
  • Restlessness
  • Stubborn behaviour

Emotional Symptoms:

  • Losing control over emotions
  • Decreased satisfaction
  • Lack of motivation
  • Self-doubt

Your kid suddenly has developed a fear of the dark? Or he/she is so afraid to be alone and always clinging to you? These are also signs that say the child is suffering from stress and anxiety. In such cases, kids are not willing to socialize or participate in school or family activities.

Physical Symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Decreased appetite
  • Sleep troubles
  • Nightmares
  • Recurrent bedwetting
  • Upset stomach

In general, if your child is showing irrational physical symptoms without any diagnosable ailment. It might be due to stress. Even though stress originates at a mental level. But it takes over the physical aspects of your child’s health as well. Severe toxic stress in children might even stunt their mental growth.

How to Help Your Child Deal with Stress

Once you have identified signs of stress in your child, it’s important to take action to help them cope. Here are some tips for managing childhood stress in kids:

  1. Initiate a conversation
    The first step is to talk to your child about their feelings and experiences. Assure them that it’s normal to feel stressed and that you are available to support them. Encourage open communication to help them feel more comfortable discussing their stressors with you, and provide them with the necessary support.
  2. Encourage healthy coping strategies
    Introduce your child to various healthy coping mechanisms, such as journaling, exercise, deep breathing, or spending time in nature. Assist them in finding a coping mechanism that suits them best. Having a healthy way to cope with stress can make a significant difference in your child’s ability to manage stress.
  3. Encourage Positive Self Talk
    Encouraging your child to engage in positive self-talk is an effective way to deal with stress. Help them recognize negative thoughts and guide them to reframe them into positive statements. For instance, instead of saying “I can’t do this, I’m so stressed,” they can say “I am capable of handling this challenge.” Promoting positive self-talk can help your child build resilience and cope better with stress.
  4. Help them get organizedFor some children, stress arises from feeling overwhelmed and lacking control. One way to alleviate stress is by helping them get organized. You can teach them how to create a to-do list or demonstrate how to break down a large project into manageable tasks. Assisting your child with organization can make a significant difference in reducing their stress levels.
  5. Promote healthy habits
    Encouraging healthy habits can significantly reduce childhood stress. It includes consuming a balanced diet, getting sufficient sleep, and engaging in regular exercise. Educating children about the significance of these practices can have a positive impact on their overall wellbeing and help them manage stress effectively in the long term.
  6. Consider professional help
    If you feel that your child is struggling to manage stress, it may be necessary to seek professional help such as therapy or counselling. A trained professional can guide your child in understanding and coping with stress in a healthy way. Seeking professional help can be a crucial step in ensuring your child’s mental wellbeing.

The Resiliency Program has great potential to encounter the symptoms and effects of stress in children. You must give it a fair shot to help you out with stress management for children.