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Spotting stress in children

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It’s important to remember that kids still experience stress. Things like school pressure, friends and everyday social situations can contribute.

Here are a few ideas of how you can encourage your child to express himself/herself:

– Talk about what you may think is bothering your child, be sympathetic and show you care.

– Listen, be patient and ask your child questions.

– Suggest what you think he/she may be feeling and help him/her process what’s happening.

– Put a label on it to help your child understand his/her own feelings and make him/her realize he/she isn’t alone.

– Suggest ways to tackle the issue together, this will make him/her see that problems can be solved when discussed.

– Limit stressful situations when possible.

– Simply be there, to listen and talk.

– Be patient. You can’t solve every problem, but listening and understanding goes a long way.

What do kids worry about?

Kids and teens can worry about grades, tests, their changing bodies or simply fitting in.
They may feel stressed over social troubles like peer pressure, family problems or whether they’ll be bullied, teased, or left out.

Preteens may worry about world events or issues they hear on the news or at school. Things like terrorism, war, pollution, global warming, endangered animals, and natural disasters can become a source of worry.

How to reduce stress in children?

Here are a few suggestions to help your child:

– Take an interest in what’s happening in and out of school and try to discover if there is a particular issue that’s causing distress.

– Encourage your child to talk about what’s bothering him/her. Sometimes all kids need is a little reassurance.

– Show you care and understand by listening.

– Help them solve the problem or issue themselves and don’t automatically fix it for them. If it is based around world events, take them to a library or encourage them to research to understand more.

– Help your child keep things in perspective.

– Help them see that you’re committed to changing the things they are feeling stressed about.

– Be aware of your own emotional reactions to problems and issues – these can be transferred to kids.

– Be a good role model – your child will mirror your actions.