Manage stress in your children -Signs of stress in children can manifest both with physical changes and with their behavior. And since each child is different, their way of reacting to stress is also different, which could mean that as parents we cannot easily identify it.
And so that you can warn if your children are in this state, we will tell you the most common ways in which stress can manifest itself and some tools to help them manage it.
- Stomach and headache pain.
- urinary incontinence.
- Decreased or increased appetite.
- Trouble sleeping or nightmares.
It is important to pay attention to whether any of these discomforts appear after consuming some foods or doing certain activities since we could confuse them with a problem that requires medical attention. If we notice them persistent without there being a factor mentioned above, we can already think that our children are having an episode of stress.
Behavioral and emotional changes
- Irritability, anger, constant anger.
- Difficult to focus.
- Development of nervous habits such as biting nails, blinking rapidly, or constantly moving a limb of the body.
- Fear of the dark, of being alone, locked up, etc.
- Isolating yourself from friends and family
- Not wanting to attend school or school activities.
Emotional changes usually have an immediate impact on behavior, so we can identify them faster as a sign of stress versus physical changes that can later be signs of external illnesses. Now, once we have been able to perceive it, it is important to understand what is causing stress in our children in order to help them manage it.
Cause of stress in children
The causes are usually school issues, adjustments or conflicts at home, too much pressure on themselves to get better grades, or from watching violent/stressful content on television or video games.
Family adjustments: A move can create stress for you or it can also be a positive change. It all depends on how the situation is handled with the child, the information provided, or how the idea is presented to them. Similarly, the separation of parents or the death of a family member can be too shocking for them.
School pressure: and it is not that the school pressures them, but many children pressure themselves to get better grades. They can also feel pressure when some of their siblings have better grades and are more praised and rewarded.
Saturated schedule: stress is very common in children who have too many scheduled activities to develop throughout their day. Such as going to school (or taking online classes being the case of this pandemic), doing homework, taking dance, music, language classes, practicing sports, and also doing housework.
Television and video games: this point depends on each child, and how old they are, and how they process the information they consume. Children may not be able to tell reality from fiction and are overly stressed thinking that what they saw on the screen can happen in real life.
How to manage anxiety
Listen to them: the main thing is to listen to their fears and what makes them feel so nervous. And even if they don’t feel ready to speak it is important that you let them know that you are there for them.
Healthy games: the best way to distract a child is to play, and better if it is something outdoors so that he can breathe fresh air and the sunlight provides comfort.
Create healthy routines: keep a schedule for bedtime, homework, exercise, and other activities that are beneficial to your child.
Avoid excess screens: and by this, we do not mean that you do not see any movies or television programs or that you do not play video games, just pay close attention to what content you consume and teach you more appropriate options.
Relax their schedule: it is very good that you want them to develop skills of all kinds and explore their different talents, but it is important that they have enough time to rest and also to do leisure activities like any child their age. If there are enough days between dates for exams, you can give him more freedom to play and enjoy.
Finally, it is practically impossible to eliminate stress from our lives and that of our children, but support, love, and communication can do wonders for them to lead a more relaxed life.
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