Ever noticed your child being moody or throwing tantrums and thought they were just acting out and brushed it aside or worse off, thought they needed a hiding? Well we are sure most of us have, but brushing it aside or using aggression might very well be one of the worst mistakes we have made. This is because kids get stressed out too and sadly might not be mature enough to express their stressful situations.  Stress is when physical and emotional factors cause tension mentally and bodily, and oftentimes children cannot recognise these anxiety causing factors. 

How Do You Recognise That Your Child Is Stressed?

Stress manifestation in kids can be classified into two categories; behavioural or emotional signs and the physical signs. Common behavioural or emotional signs of child stress can be in the form of  mood swings, aggression, clinginess for some while others withdraw from family and friends, difficulty concentrating, developing fears and nervous habits like nail biting. The physical signs can be identified through bedwetting, headaches, stomach aches and commonly a runny tummy, decreased or increased appetite, and having nightmares causing sleeping problems. 

What Could BE Causing Your Child’s Stress?

Children react differently to stress depending on their age and personalities. It is therefore important to observe behaviour change based on your child’s personality and age, to be able to determine if the following could be causing your child to be stressed. Family dynamics play a larger role in a child’s life, hence if there is a shift in the family balance like moving houses or parental instability kids tend to get worked up. Major life changes can shake your child’s sense of security like a new school, being bullied at school or even the arrival of a new sibling leading to confusion and anxiety. As parents we can unintentionally stress our kids out. Yes! We need our children to grab every opportunity out there but then at times it can be overwhelming for them. Overly packed schedules and academic pressure are amongst the ways parents can unintentionally cause their children to be stressed. So we need to be careful to realise what they are capable of handling and what they are not.  

How To Help Your Child

Firstly as a parent or caregiver, you need to mind your actions when dealing with a stressed child. Provide affection and use positive reinforcement. Encourage them to get involved and try adopting healthy habits like starting exercise routines. After all, exercise is the greatest cure of stress. Learn to listen to your child without being too critical and teach them how to positively solve situations. Always keep an eye for new behaviours and if you have no clue on how to handle a stressed child contact a healthcare practitioner, a school counsellor or a therapist. 

As Mother Touch Group Of Schools prides itself on nurturing positive attitudes, Christian values and environments for our students.