Lifestyle

How to Recognize and Help Your Child Cope with Stress

Stress is crippling, not only in adults but in teens as well. Yes, Stress in children is real. Grades, relationships, peer pressure, self-image, parental expectations are just a few things that a teen grapples with daily. Add some changing hormones to this mix, and you have a perfect recipe for a stressed-out child.

Now, you may think that since every child faces this, it is something that they may grow out of it. It is important to note that every human being reacts to different situations differently. While one individual may be able to cope with these issues, the other may crumble upon the slightest pressure. If Stress in children is not recognized and treated, it can lead to a lifelong case of anxiety and emotional imbalance.

The Signs:

Your child may not be able to speak to you or other family members about their problems. There is a chance that even they do not understand that they are under Stress. But Stress and anxiety, when reaching a troubling stage, begin to start showing signs.

Many Dubai primary schools have professional counsellors to recognize and actively address this issue. But as parents, you must recognize the signs of your child struggling with Stress or Anxiety. Here are a few common symptoms:

Behavioural: 

  • Moodiness, aggression, a quick temper, or clinginess
  • Development of Fears (such as fear of the dark, being alone, or of strangers)
  • Hoarding items of insignificance
  • Developing a nervous habit, such as nail-biting
  • Withdrawing from family or friends
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Getting into trouble at school
  • Refusal to go to school

Physical: 

  • Wetting the bed
  • Constant Complaints of stomach-aches or headaches
  • Increase or decrease in appetite
  • Sleep problems or nightmares

If you see such signs, you can take some time to notice the pattern, especially, before or after a certain activity. Track the changes in the behaviour of the child if there is a sudden change in their circumstances. For example, change in school, change of friends, a change in the family structure, parental instability, or heightened academic pressure.

Here are Some Ways to Help Your Child: 

  • Have a fixed routine for the day with times of fun and relaxation incorporated.
  • Become a positive role model for your child to exemplify healthy behaviour.
  • Keep an eye on the TV programs, their social and online activity and the material they read. Talk about the topics if you (or they) find something disturbing.
  • Spend some calm and relaxing time with your children
  • Inform them about any anticipated significant changes
  • Listen to your child without being critical or angry. Help them understand and manage difficult emotions on their own.
  • Engage in activities and use words that build your child’s self-image and self-worth.
  • Allow them to have some control over their lives. Let them make small decisions.
  • Don’t be afraid or sceptical about seeking professional help if you are unable to help your child manage their Stress.

Making your home a safe environment with effective two-way communication can prevent your child’s fall into Stress.

 

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