Rachna and Amit are worried about their eight year old son Rohan. He often complains of stomach aches and cries when it’s time to leave for school. He is better in the evening, but sometimes finds it difficult to sleep at night. Is it a matter of concern? Let’s find it out in this article.
Childhood today is no more in a carefree state. Parental or peer pressures are introduced in various activities in life that are not at all justified. It may come from sources that include doing well in school, managing expectations from teachers or coaches or even sustaining friendship. Some pressure may be positive that provides the energy to tackle big tests or sports event, but too much of it can create unnecessary challenge or hardship. Most of the time parents are unaware of the fact that their kids or teens are experiencing overwhelming feelings of anxiety. Identifying this potential problem and offering proper guidance and support can help them through these difficult times. We will share some tips on ways to recognizing possible signs of tension in kids and the best means of handling them.
Identifying stress in children:
Feeling Sick: Parents should watch out for any physical symptoms like frequent headaches or stomach aches in children. Excessive trips to the washroom may also be the sign of insecurity and anxiety. Such conditions need to be treated immediately so that the health is not affected.
Negative changes in behavior: Young children may often find it difficult to verbalize when they experience stress. They may become irritable or moody, withdraw from certain activities that they usually love, express worries and often cry or display fearful reactions about going to school. Clinging to parents for security or expressing excessive hostility towards any family member or social isolation may also be some signs of pressure. Though the negative behavior is not always related to tension, but any sudden changes in the normal behavior of your child may be a matter of concern and immediate attention may help.
How can you help to reduce your child’s stress?
Help your child to talk: Communicating freely with parents can help your child to reveal what is bothering them. Offer them opportunities instead of asking questions. Listen to what they are saying and never criticize what they are saying or they will try to hide things that bother them.
Encourage healthy eating and physical exercise: Try to involve your child in various activities like swimming, playing cricket or badminton as this will help them to remain involved and have a good sleep. Teach them to have a healthy diet so that their bodies are better able to handle anxiety.
Teach relaxing skills: Show your kids how to relax by remembering pleasant memories like a happy experience or favorite vacation. Give them hugs and back rubs and show them that you care. A gentle physical touch can be a powerful tension reliever.
Be clear about your expectations: It is important for your child to know their goals, but doesn’t make it too difficult for them to achieve it. Make them understand that they can make mistakes and that it is important to learn from those mistakes. Let them know what is expected and together decide on the consequences for any misbehavior.
Spend quality time: Spending some one-to-one time is very important to understand your child. Find hobbies or some activities that you both can do together. Read them stories that shows how to successfully cope up with tension, how to face challenges and new situations.
Whether your child is stressed out due to normal activities or due to some extraordinary situation, you can always help them to cope up with it by a little support and by adopting effective anxiety management techniques.
Stress can often be a chronic struggle for kids if not taken care of at the right time. Parents should always observe them for any changes in behavior or physical conditions. It is only by becoming aware of the stress symptoms and by teaching their kids of healthy coping strategies that they can prepare them to remain stress free.