The constant pace of modern day living can be stressful even for young children. Exams, homework, interpersonal relationships, changes in the family may cause anxiety and upheavals in kids’ daily routine; severe stress can even trigger panic attacks and health issues.
What are the signs of stress in children?
Since each child responds to stressful situations differently, parents have to constantly look out for signs of anxiety and address the underlying problems.
Behavioral Signs of Stress:
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Refusal to attend school
- Difficulty concentrating
- Moodiness, clinginess, tantrums
- Nervous habits such as nail-biting
Physical Signs of Stress:
- Sleeping problems
- Abnormal appetite
- Complaints of stomach aches or other ailments
Anxiety management and stress relief for kids
There are many ways to support your stressed little ones; spending time listening to their voices, helping children with their schoolwork and building new healthy habits are some easy first steps.
1. Spending quality time with children
Experts recommend that parents spare 15 minutes each day to speak to their children, understand what is going on with their daily lives and pay attention to their emotional needs. Spending quality time with children would help parents identify early symptoms of stress and the underlying causes.
Certain events such as starting at a new school or the arrival of a new sibling can be stressful, be sure to lend your child a listening ear.
2. Dealing with academic stress
While academic pressure and over-packed schedule can take a toll on young children, parents can encourage their kids to turn stress into motivation. To start with, parents should do a self-check to make sure that they do not place unnecessarily high demands on their children. Again, quality time is key. By spending time to help their children with their schoolwork, parents are able to support their children in their goals and be more confident in their studies.
3. Adopting Healthy Habits to Combat Stress
As children learn by example, parents should involve children in healthy stress management pursuits such as sports activity, listening to music and socialising.