A general view of people regarding childhood is that it’s the most carefree time of a person’s life, but the fact is that kids of all ages also undergo stress due to different reasons. Stress in kids may be the result of positive or negative changes in their lives. Positive: such as starting new activities, moving to a new place, birth of a sibling etc. and negative, such as illness, divorce in the family or bullying in the school. Kids easily get stressed due to these changes, therefore the ways to calm them down should be implemented as soon as signs of stress are seen in them.
Sometimes it is difficult for adults to identify the situation that kids undergo while experiencing stress. It is often displayed by their changed behaviour and temperament. It can be their-
- Moodiness towards the activities at home, school or play.
- Withdrawal from family, friends and daily routine
- Complaining every time about trivial issues
- Change in eating and sleeping habits, such as loss of appetite or sleep or the vice versa
Common Reasons Behind Stress in Kids
Academic pressure on kids for competent results elevate stress in them. They have to follow a very hectic routine scheduled with after school tuition classes.
Due to hectic routine of children and parents, children somehow suffer from lack of rest and sleep, which shows its adverse effects in the form of stress in kids.
Change in the home or school environment creates anxiety in children, because for them change in these areas is sometimes difficult to accept or adapt.
Bullying of any kind at school or neighbourhood is also one of the major reasons of stress in children
Parental stress can also result in stress in kids. This is a matter of huge concern. If the relationship between both the parents is incompatible, then it can develop anxiety in the child too.
Helping kids to come out of stress
Encouragement- Encourage and motivate your child to face the situations bravely and never give up. Assure them that you are always by their side.
Take it easy approach– It’s okay if they are not perfect. Each individual is different from the other, so ask them to focus on the strengths they possess.
Teaching them problem solving– inculcating in children the habit of understanding the situation and figuring out a solution by themselves makes them strong and confident.
Listening to your child– patiently listen to your child, by asking …”what happened then? ” Don’t blame, lecture or judge your child because you are helping them by being a listener, not an advisor.
Appreciation– Praise them even for their little efforts, and make them feel that they are being given attention to.
Discipline– Childhood stress might lead to serious behavioural problems. So structure their eating, sleeping, behavioural and hygiene habits. These will help them in the long run of their lives
Stress bursting activities– Schedule some activities to calm them down on a regular pattern such as hearty laughter exercises, everyday bedtime stories, weekend outings, kids hobby workshops etc.
Tips to the parents- Be a role model for your child. The child looks to you as an ideal for healthy behavior. Do your best to keep your own stress under control and manage it in healthy ways.
What is eustress?
Some stress can be positive because it provides the energy to face a big task, or situation. If your child is stressed in such a way, check and make sure that they are accepting it positively.
P S- If your child is experiencing significant symptoms of stress seek help from a counselor or a therapist
Picture courtesy: Google Images
Disclaimer – This article is a personal view of the author.