By Dr. Peter Klapper Ph.D.
Contrary to popular belief, adults aren't the only ones suffering from stress—children are, too. The Annie E. Casey Foundation reports that 11.8% of American children experience anxiety or depression. Fortunately, there are things you can do as a parent to help your kids cope with stress.
It's crucial to address these issues before they worsen, as failing to do may result in chronic mental, emotional, and physical conditions. Conversely, helping kids cope with challenges is vital to secure their well-being and facilitate emotional and cognitive development amid extreme life events.
In this article, we'll delve deeper into childhood stress—its causes and signs and some approaches to help alleviate your kid's stress and anxiety.
What is Childhood Stress?
Childhood stress is a result of anxieties and pressures that young people experience in daily life. They often occur due to powerful events, like sports or academic and social expectations.
Stress is a natural part of life, and you should not attempt to isolate your child from stress fully. Not every stressful event is terrible since they help kids build resilience and character.
However, problems arise when children can't handle intense emotions. Their failure to cope can harm their mental health, so you must identify their stressors and help them navigate their feelings effectively to avoid their stress from affecting their health and well-being.
Causes of Childhood Stress
The first step to treating the effects of childhood stress is to identify its triggers. As mentioned, drastic life changes impact a kid's mind, regardless if it's a positive or negative event, so you need to be aware of what may cause their anxieties. Some common causes of stress in childhood include:
4 Signs of Childhood Stress
Stress manifests in different ways, but their common denominator is they emotionally, mentally, and physically change children and how they interact with their environment. Look out for these signs of childhood stress.
Those who undergo stress in childhood may show changes in their behavior. Children may suddenly become reserved and standoffish, leading to emotional outbursts inconsistent with their usual behavior. These behavioral changes include irritability, aggression, and withdrawal.
Stress also impacts how kids handle their emotions, making them more emotional than usual and exhibiting compulsive behavior. As such, stress can trigger notable conditions: anxiety, depression, or mood swings.
Stress also manifests as physical symptoms that could exacerbate children's anxieties. Sleeplessness and poor appetite may weaken their bodies, leading to more severe illnesses. It's essential to keep tabs on their physical well-being, which might be at risk if they show the following symptoms:
While children are usually hyperactive and have poor attention spans, sudden cognitive changes may indicate stress. For example, performing in school becomes significantly challenging, leading to bad grades and further pressure. Other indications include:
How to Help Kids with Stress Management
Teaching kids how to cope with changes is essential to becoming well-rounded individuals. In effect, they won't suffer from illnesses or drastic behavioral, emotional, and cognitive changes due to unmanaged stress.
Foster a supportive relationship
Kids undergoing sudden life changes without emotional support from trusted adults may feel alone. So, listen and talk about their grievances to let them know their feelings are valid and safe and that you will support them through the most challenging times.
Teach and model positive coping skills
It's also important to introduce healthy coping mechanisms to help the child deal with stress by themselves. You could practice emotion labeling, positive self-talk, and breathing exercises. Then, teach them how to communicate their feelings effectively, be patient, and take measures to address and minimize their stressors. The goal is for them to handle their feelings even if help is not around.
Create a stress-free home environment
Fostering a stress-free household is essential. After all, the home should be where your kids can have a break from worries. A frantic, unorganized environment can trigger or exacerbate stress. As parents, take the time to participate in their favorite activities to foster positive emotions at home and offset pressures.
Encourage physical activity, healthy eating, and restful sleep
Help your child deal with worries by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is an excellent start to reduce stress and treat anxiety and depression. Then, ensure they eat nutritious meals and get eight hours of sleep every night. Forces of Nature's Sleep Well for Kids can help them rest and wake up refreshed if they have trouble falling asleep.
Consider counseling and therapy
Sometimes, lifestyle changes aren't enough to relieve stress, especially after traumatizing events. If your advice doesn't ease their worries, it may be time to contact mental health professionals. Therapists can intervene and help young family members practice positive mental health habits that can last well into adulthood.
Manage symptoms with homeopathic treatments
Severe cases of stress need medical intervention. However, anti-anxiety meds usually have various side effects, like dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and nausea, which may worsen your child's condition.
Fortunately, natural treatments ease stress without side effects. For example, Calm Mood for Kids reduces mood swings and relaxes them. Consider talking to a homeopathic doctor about stress-relieving remedies to alleviate children’s anxieties.
Keep Your Child Calm with Homeopathy
Stress becomes inevitable as your child grows, so it's crucial to help them understand how to deal with their feelings. Watch out for signs of behavioral, physical, mental, and emotional changes, then determine the right approach to help them cope. In turn, they can become emotionally intelligent adults who can take on whatever may come their way.
Luckily, you don't have to do it alone. Forces of Nature's all-natural, USDA Certified Organic homeopathic medicine can help children cope with stress safely to grow into well-rounded adults. Visit our shop today!