Childhood is supposed to be a carefree time of playing and learning in a safe home or school environment. But, many children do not feel safe and are suffering from stress. This stress can affect their development and mental health if it is not recognized and treated. Parents should learn to recognize all the signs of stress in their children and then find the causes of that stress. Each child will respond to stressful situations in different ways depending on their age, personality, and coping skills.
Getting Help for Children Suffering From Stress or Anxiety
Parents in the Frisco and Plano Tx area can get help for children suffering from anxiety or stress by contacting the Best Pediatrician Plano TX has to offer. Healing Care Pediatrics specializes in treating children and their families with integrative medicine giving them the knowledge and resources to achieve healing and wellness. Teaching parents how to help their children cope with stress in healthy ways adds to the clinic’s treatment benefits.
Parents can call or contact the clinic for information on their programs and techniques, to see if this is the clinic to help their child. There are virtual and eVisits available.
How To Tell If A Child Is Suffering From Stress or Anxiety
Childhood anxiety and stress can manifest in both emotional and behavioural ways. Look for these signs of anxiety and stress:
* Changes in the child’s behaviour like clinginess, moodiness, short temper, aggression, hyperactive behaviour, or bedwetting
* Refusing to go to school or getting into trouble at school
* Having a hard time concentrating or developing nervous habits like nail-biting
* Developing new fears including fear of being alone, fear of the dark, or fear of strangers
* Withdrawing from family members or friends
* Starting to hoard things that only hold importance to them
* physical symptoms such as loss of appetite, stomachaches, headaches, or trouble sleeping. Overreacting to small problems, being a perfectionist, or not being able to control emotions
Once a parent recognizes the signs of anxiety and stress in their child, it is time to find and correct the causes of that stress. Children are not always able to tell a parent why they are feeling the way they do. Finding the real causes of stress and anxiety may take a lot of work and patience.
What Might Cause Childhood Stress and Anxiety?
We can’t keep our children with us all the time and we can’t avoid some home and family problems. School and the outside world can be stressful to children. These changes or problems cause stress for children:
1. Doing well at school can be a source of stress for children who are afraid of making mistakes. Some children worry about homework and grades. Changing schools can be very stressful.
2. Changes within a family such as a new baby, a death, moving, divorce, financial stress or job insecurity, parental health problems, or family turmoil can frighten children. Living in an unsafe neighbourhood or home can cause children stress.
3. Bullying is a major problem for many children at school or in the neighbourhood. Bullying makes children feel weak, frightened, and embarrassed.
4. Terrible Events on the news such as natural disasters, violence, terrorism, or other bad things happening.
5. Popularity and fitting in with other children can be stressful. For a child that is excluded from groups or has trouble making friends, stress can be agonizing.
6. Movies, books, or video games that are too scary can cause a child to be anxious or upset. It is important to know what books or movies will be entertaining for the child without frightening them. Look for age-appropriate listings on movies, books, and video games.
7. Finally try to achieve a healthy balance of activities and quiet downtime. Too many activities stress some children.
8. Changing bodies as children mature can be stressful. Having negative thoughts about themselves because of self-image or body size.
When the causes of the stress are found, the work begins. There can be more than one cause for a child’s stress and anxiety and some causes are not easily fixed. A relative who died can not be brought back to life and divorce can not be undone. No one is going to give back the new baby. The world is not going to change and school must be attended.
But when all the causes of anxiety and stress are identified, a parent can get the child help in how they deal with things that stress them. Depending on the seriousness of the stress and its effects on the child, professional help might be called for as well as parental efforts. Good children’s mental health professionals work with the child and the parents to find ways to help the child.
Things Parents Can Do
There are a number of ways parents can help their children have less stress or learn to handle stress in healthier ways.
* Try to make the home secure, safe, and dependable for the child.
* Spend calm, relaxing time with the children including family routines to look forward to like family dinners, movie nights, or family walks.
* Be a good role model for handling stress and healthy behaviour.
* Listen to your child in a non-judgmental way, then work with them to understand what is bothering them. Allow the child to make choices and have control over their lives and the problems they face. Having control over their own life will help them handle stress better.
* Monitor TV programs, books, games, and even newscasts children watch or are exposed to avoid violence and things that cause fear and anxiety. Open discussions with the child when they see scary movies or news programs to help them avoid stress.
* When changes are coming, give your child plenty of warning and information to help them prepare.
* Work on building the child’s sense of self-worth, ability to succeed, and problem-solving skills. Children should have lots of positive encouragement and affection.
* Provide plenty of opportunities for the child to engage in physical activity such as playing outside, exercising, dance classes, skating, sports, or other activities they enjoy.
It is important for parents to do everything they can and then to recognize the signs of stress that is not getting better and know when to call a healthcare provider or a therapist to give the child additional help.