Stress is a normal response during challenges, and any one of any age can relate. As a child, it can be far more confusing to understand why these feelings arise, and coping with them is hard to do alone. Help your child learn about this emotion by taking the time to discuss their feelings and how to find a solution. Supporting them through times of stress will strengthen their comprehension of what they're experiencing and how to handle it in future situations.
Signs of Stress
Young children don’t process stress the same way adults can, so being aware of what signs to look for in your child’s behavior can be beneficial. You might begin to notice that your child is having more frequent emotional outbursts. Increased irritability apart from their normal behavior could be a sign they’re feeling stressed. Having trouble sleeping can also be a sign of stress, and can even trigger nightmares. If you begin to see your child withdraw from others socially, it could be a cause for concern. Take note of your child’s typical personality and behavior patterns and watch for sudden changes. Children will need to become more self aware and developed before they are able to communicate their emotions with you. Until that point, use these signs to observe your child to better understand their mental health needs.
How To Help
As a parent, it is difficult to watch your child struggle with emotions like stress. Helping them cope or learn how to manage stress is a great place to start. Providing them with a set schedule like a bedtime, eating a meal together, and being there for them after school can give them things to count on. Having a daily/weekly routine can give your child the peace and rhythm they need to relax their mind. Teach them how to cope with sudden feelings of stress through breathing exercises and meditation. This skill will help them decompress while taking their mind off their worrisome thoughts. Have your child take breaks to enjoy some fun and enjoyable activities. Have them sit down and paint, read a book, play outside, or visit with family.
Unfortunately, stress will impact every child at one point or another, but there are ways to soothe them. Help your child understand their emotions, learn about what causes them, and how to resolve them.
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