How to Recognise Stress in Children and Help Them Cope

Stress has a big impact on our mental and physical health and can affect anyone, including children. Therefore, we want to share with you the warning signs and symptoms of stress in children and how you can help.

Signs of Stress and Coping Strategies

  1. Changes in behaviour: If your child suddenly becomes withdrawn or irritable, it could be a sign of stress. They may also have trouble sleeping, eating, or concentrating.

    • How to help: Encourage your child to talk about their feelings and concerns. Create a safe space for them to express themselves and provide them with age-appropriate information about stress.

  2. Physical symptoms: Stress can also manifest in physical ways, such as headaches, stomachaches, and fatigue.

    • How to help: Make sure your child is getting enough rest and exercise. Encourage them to eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water.

  3. Anxiety and worry: Children who are stressed may experience excessive worry or anxiety about things that normally wouldn't bother them.

    • How to help: Practice relaxation techniques with your child, such as deep breathing or meditation. Help them to identify their worries and develop a plan to address them.

  4. Changes in academic performance: Stress can also impact children's academic performance.

    • How to help: Work with your child's teachers to develop a plan to support their academic needs. Help them to stay organized and break tasks into manageable steps.

  5. Changes in social behaviour: Children who are stressed may also have changes in their social behaviour. They may avoid social situations or have trouble getting along with friends.

    • How to help: Encourage your child to stay connected with friends and family members. Help them to develop social skills and coping strategies for challenging situations.

Remember, stress is a normal part of life, and it's important to teach children healthy coping strategies to manage it. As a parent/guardian, you can help your child to build resilience and develop positive coping skills that will serve them well throughout their life.

Want to expand your child's skills at home further, whether that's building resilience, confidence, mindfulness or something else? Check out our range of free at-home activities here -

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