Children Manage Stress: Stress manifests itself differently in children than in adults, making it difficult for parents and teachers to diagnose. Children may lack understanding or the words to express themselves adequately.
Stress in children is recognized through behaviors and actions, not necessarily when they express it to an adult. Our health team member explains that to help children manage stress, you must first identify it. Continue reading to learn the impacts of stress on children and ways to relieve tension and frustration in young people.
What are the Root Causes of Childhood Stress?
When you notice a negative change in a child’s behavior, it is essential to determine the cause.
- Personal conflicts with peer groups
- Edit School
- Lower grades
- Inability to balance studies and extracurricular activities.
- Changes in family relationships, such as the birth of a new sibling or divorce.
- Self-esteem problems
According to a study published in Clinical Psychology Review, parental neglect can cause stress-related psychological reactions in children throughout their lives. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are childhood events that cause severe long-term stress.
ACEs include chronic abuse, growing up in extreme poverty, or living with a mentally ill parent. These circumstances can be very stressful for children, especially if they do not have words to express their feelings about the situation.
When Should Intervention Be Used?
All children experience some level of stress, but when does stress become toxic? Toxic stress is defined as prolonged and excessive stress, frequently caused by ACE inhibitors.
Severe stress in young people may require the help of a mental health expert. Stress children can benefit from support from a parent, mentor, or mental health expert. With the right support system, even children in traumatic situations can learn to manage their stress.
Whatever the source of stress, it is essential that all children learn to manage stress, children can become more resilient, gain confidence, and adapt more easily to change.
Consequences of Chronic Childhood Stress
Stress can harm children in many ways if left unchecked. The American Psychologist Association lists the following examples of stress in children.
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Ignore obligations
- Recurrent disease
Stress can manifest itself in different ways. If your child doesn’t eat at all or ears too much, you may notice it. They may have trouble falling asleep or sleeping more than usual. It’s usually time to intervene when you notice a drastic change in behavior.
Prolonged stress can lead to various social and physiological problems if not resolved. For example, when a young person is growing, a poor diet can lead to diabetes. Since there are no positive models of healthy relationships at home, if a child is exposed to domestic violence, she may have difficulty making friends.
How to Help Children Reduce Stress and Frustration
Stressed children can benefit greatly from adults asking them what’s wrong and listening to their answers. Only when the adult is aware of the source of the stress can she offer support?
It takes patience and careful listening to recognize stressors in children. Asking your child open-ended questions that require a deeper response than “yes” or “no” will help create a positive conversational atmosphere. Encouraging young people to openly express their concerns may even encourage them to find solutions themselves.
Maintain a welcoming and compassionate atmosphere. If children see negative relationships in their homes, this is likely to carry over into adulthood. Children need supportive adults in their lives who can offer help when needed.
Tips for Children and Adolescents to Manage Stress
Consider using the stress reduction tactics listed below when trying to support a young person in your life through a difficult situation.
- Children need to learn to be aware of their breathing. Stress affects us physically and mentally. Deep breathing increases brain oxygenation and helps reduce and harmful effects of stress-related chemicals.
- Remind children that they are always responsible for their lives. Stress os often accompanied by the feeling of loss of control. Children can regulate their activities even if they are not always able to manage their emotional reactions to situations.
- Teach children to be aware of how their body responds to stress. Are your hands sweaty? Do your eyes start to move? You can create a plan for what to do when the first signs of stress appear by teaching children to recognize them.
- Give the kids some free time. Many children do not have the opportunity to relax and think about their feelings. Encourage your child to spend time each day doing relaxing, low-intensity activities.
Learn How to Help Children Who Have Mental Health Problems
Having a trusted adult at home or at school can be extremely beneficial for children who are going through difficult emotions. It is being able to interact with children in a way that allows them to express themselves, even if they can’t do so clearly. Pay attention to their behavior and take action if you suspect that the child is showing signs of stress