Being providers and caregivers, parents usually tend to consider the life of their children to be carefree and happy. As kids don’t have responsibilities like a job, maintaining finances, etc., it is easy to think that they don’t have much to worry about in their life. However, the truth of the matter is that even children feel stress to a certain extent and even young kids have worries in their life.
Yes, Children also experience stress
Stress is usually associated with the pressure of demands and the ability to meet them. These demands come from external sources, such as jobs, peers, school, family, etc. However, stress is also related to the internal pressure about what you should do versus what you can do.
So, basically, anyone can be affected by stress, especially someone who feels overwhelmed and even kids can feel a considerable amount of pressure. With preschoolers, even small things like separation from parents can cause stress. As children get older, the stress is caused mainly by social and academic pressure.
Stress is an unavoidable part of life. It is quite normal to have a certain amount of stress. In fact, a little stress is sometimes necessary for survival. When it comes to children, it helps them to develop certain skills that are required to cope with new and different situations. Although a little bit of stress can prove to be helpful, too much of it results in things getting out of control.
Childhood stress comes with various emotional and physical signs and symptoms; it usually occurs when your child is facing a situation that requires adapting and changing. As such, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that study pressure is the primary reason for causing stress in children.
Academic Pressure causing stress
Nowadays, children have to cope with a lot of academic pressure. Children are always burdened with the constant pressure of performing well academically. On top of that, there has been a significant increase in the amount of homework students have to complete. Homework itself can be overwhelming as children have a limited time to complete their homework.
While you can definitely use online homework help to reduce the burden on your child, it doesn’t guarantee that he or she would no longer experience stress due to study pressure. There are other causes of study pressure as well. If your child is experiencing problems in completing homework and assignments, you should give ‘Do you know the steps to reach the top in assignments’ a read. This can help them cope with homework and assignments better, which reduces the pressure on them
Along with homework, children also have to give a lot of tests and exams. The preparation for exams can be intimidating itself. Also, there is the fear of failure which puts the additional pressure on them. They also have to meet the expectations of their parents and teachers. All these are enough to cause stress, and the extracurricular activities do more harm than good in such situation.
When are children more susceptible to stress?
Children are more susceptible to stress if they experience:
- Different stressful situations
- Changes and transitions in their life
- Serious injury or illness
- Loneliness or isolation
- Parental stress
Physical and Mental health issues caused due to stress in Children
Sometimes, it might be quite difficult to understand whether your kid is experiencing stress or not. While recognizing stress in children might not always be easy, there are certain behavioral and physical changes that might be an indication of stress. Mood swings, changes in sleep pattern, acting out, bedwetting, etc. are common indications of stress in children.
With some kids, there might be physical effects as well, including headaches and stomachaches. It can be very annoying for both parents and children, as it is hard to cure such health issues. These problems might resurface time and again. As such, even doctors are not of much help. A kid experiencing stress often finds it difficult to concentrate on studies or to complete their homework. Some kids even get withdrawn and tend to spend a considerable time alone.
If your child is relatively young, they respond differently to stress. Often, they pick up new habits such as hair twirling, thumb sucking, nose picking. With relatively older kids, habits like lying, bullying and defying authority can be a response to stress. If your child is too overwhelmed by stress, he or she might even overact to minor issues. Such children might even start having nightmares. There might as well be drastic changes in their academic pressure.
Helping your kid cope with stress
When it comes to helping your kid cope with stress, good nutrition and proper rest goes a long way. Make sure they get enough time to relax and engage in activities they enjoy. Children will automatically cope better if they get enough playing time. Try engaging in fun activities with your child; it really helps them take their mind off studies for some time.
Good parenting can boost coping skills to quite an extent. First and foremost, you should make time for your child every day. You should make sure that you are available whenever they need you. Whether they need to talk to you or simply be in the same room with you, try to be there for them. Kids usually start feeling a lot better if their parents start spending time with them.
If you want to help your child cope with stress, you need to talk about exactly what is causing stress. You shouldn’t force them to talk about it, even if you know what is worrying them. Have an honest and friendly conversation with your kid and ease into things. Remember, if you are honest, so will your child and things will get a lot easier from there.
Coming up with a solution
Once you know about the cause of their stress, you can come up with a few solutions and consult with them about these solutions. You can consider cutting back on the afterschool activities, talking with teachers, developing a regimen, etc. Together, you can come up with a solution that can help reduce the stress on your child.
You must always remember that stress is normal on a certain level. So, you should let your kids know that it is alright to feel scared, lonely or anxious at times. Let them know that they should share these feelings. It is important to reassure them. Don’t forget to remind them that you are confident; they can handle the situation!