Helping Children Handle Stress

Published On  May 9, 2015 By

Childhood is supposed to be a happy, carefree time but as adults we often forget that something we consider trivial might overwhelm our child to the point of anxiety

stress mgt with kids- Parenting resources by ZenParent

It may sound a bit far-fetched to think of words like stress and anxiety associated with a child, but it really isn’t. Childhood is a happy, carefree time but there are also many possible factors that could be bothering your child. These factors seem to have increased with modern living and can take their toll on young children. Common causes of stress in childhood can be major ones like:

  • Life changes – new school, new home, new baby, Mom going back to work
  • Death or illness in family, including pets
  • Bullying or embarrassing situation at school
  • Divorce or constant fighting between parents or family members
  • Puberty and the associated body changes that accompany it

Or they can be everyday pressures like:

  • Academic expectations from teachers/parents
  • Rushed days with no free time to play
  • Demanding or dominating siblings
  • Too little quality time with parents
  • Trouble with friends – old or new
  • Something seen on TV

Major changes are obvious stress points and parents can be prepared for what to expect. But it is the seemingly minor, everyday problems that can catch parents off guard.

Click here to Identify signs of stress in your child

Tips to help children who are upset about something

If your child seems to be upset by something, you’ll probably get all psyched up and look for an instant solution. But getting stressed will only backfire as your child senses your anxiety and fear; after all we’re all about ZenParenting here! Here are a few tips to help your child when something’s bothering him.

listenTochild

  1. Listen, even if you’re busy – This actually needs to be done right from the time they’re little, so that they know that a listening ear is always available if they ever need to talk.
  2. Go easy – Ensure that your child has an easy and structured routine with plenty of free time in between, so he doesn’t feel too rushed.
  3. Cuddle – Shower your kids with lots of hugs and kisses to reassure them. Research has shown kids (and even adults) who receive frequent physical affection have lower stress levels.
  4. Talk – Talk to your child gently, letting her know that you’re aware she’s upset and you’d like very much to fix it
  5. Go slow – Don’t force your child to speak; once she feels that she can safely open up, she’ll let you know by herself.

Kids won’t always tell us everything, however much we wish they did! But as parents, it’s up to us to read all the non-verbal cues they’re displaying and try to gauge what’s bothering them. Trust your instincts; they’re rarely wrong! Maintain a peaceful atmosphere at home with an open channel of communication, and sooner or later your little one will come to you to pour his heart out and get a huge hug!

However, if your child is going into a deep shell despite your repeated efforts or the angry/upset mood is worsening, then it might be a good idea to consult a child psychologist so that the problem can be nipped in the bud.

Featured Image Source