Stress is a condition that everybody suffers; it is an individual’s reaction to any challenge that the body (and often the mind) feels it cannot deal with. Only the event itself can decide if the body will respond to stress in a positive or negative manner.
Every individual has a different way to deal with stress; though some stress is necessary (for example to finish an examination within the allotted time), too much of it can affect one’s physical or mental well-being. This issue is particularly serious when it comes to children.
Stress In Children:
Children today encounter many stressful life events at an early age. With so much to learn and do and perform in any typical day, every new thing brings along stress. There are 2 types of early childhood stress:
1. Good Stress:
This is a kind of motivation, which will encourage your smaller ones to deal with challenges and overcome it.
[ Read: How To Motivate Children ]
2. Bad Stress:
It’s a kind of stress, which overcomes your kid’s coping mechanism and leads to failure at times.
Causes Of Stress:
Different age groups of children experience different types of stress. It is very important to analyze the stressful conditions the children are suffering from and evaluate for the same.
- Toddlers have fear of strangers because every other person except their parents is unknown to them.
- Children at the age group of 3 are the ones which try to attain stability. They are possessive with their toys and enjoy attention. Stress occurs when they come across toilet accidents, strangers or dark places.
- Children at the age of 4 try to imitate what adults do and they even develop their fears and this fear could ultimately cause stress.
- As your child gets older, academic and social pressures creates stress.
- World news like hearing war, terrorist attacks or watching any disrupting images on TV can cause stress in children. It makes them worry about their safety.
- School-going children may experience stress due to new environment around them at school, peer pressure, fear of getting bully, sibling’s rivalry, etc.
[ Read: Impact Of Tv On Children ]
Effects Of Stress On Children:
Stress is an inevitable part of life and so are their effects. It is very important for you to regulate the causes of stress and try to replace the bad stress with the good ones.
- Stress can disrupt early brain development of your child.
- It can affect your child’s functioning ability to perform better.
- Childhood stress can lead to health problems like eating disorders, depression, etc.
- High levels of stress hormones can suppress your child’s body immune response.
- Physical symptoms seen in your child due to stress are headache, bedwetting, night sweats but no physical illness.
- Behavioral symptoms include crying, anger, anxiety and/or disinterest to participate in school or family activities.
[ Read: Emotional Development In Children ]
How To Manage Your Child’s Stress?
Stress can invade children from anywhere, be at home or outside. It is extremely important for you to assess the type and the amount of stress your child suffers from and handle it positively:
1. Be aware of your child’s behavior and emotions; keep your children away from the factors that encourage fear and anxiety in them.
2. Build trust with your child; allow your child to ask questions.
3. Teach them to take things in a positive manner and react calmly.
4. Prepare your child to deal with their mistakes; use fables and real life anecdotes if necessary.
5. Provide a safe, secure and positive environment at home.
6. Allow your child to ask questions; spend a relaxed time with them, whenever they need an ear.
7. Make play an important event in your child’s schedule; Encourage physical activity, good nutrition and rest.
8. A good sleep boosts children’s mood and will help them stay active throughout the day.
[ Read: Sleep Problems In Children ]
9. Reward your child’s brave behavior by giving them a treat in order to encourage them.
10. Psychological assistance is recommended, if stress continues to be a concern.
Hope our little endeavor helps you deal effectively with stress in young children. Don’t forget to share your views and experiences in the comment section below.
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