Stress in Kids and How to Help Them

Guest post by Zara Lewis (@ZaraELewis) – check out her bio at the end!

Our overall health is a compact unity of emotional and physical aspects; they are mutually inclusive and have a direct impact on the functioning of the other. And all while you can’t (physically) touch or see stress and anxiety, you can see them reflected onto your life, your state of mind and ultimately – the quality of your life.

Stress doesn’t recognize gender, age, skin color or religion. The sad truth is that it can affect anyone and everyone – from the elderly to your kids. The world we live in seems to be based on stress and unless we learn how to cope, we may as well be wasting away our lives. Coping very much relates to learning how to shape our thoughts into positive thinking and/or how to manage negative thoughts when/if they occur.

No matter how much we try to protect our children, stress will inevitably catch up to them as well, especially if we expose them to such surroundings (immediate family, friends, neighbors, the country we live in, etc). They may not understand the triggers, but they’ll sure be able to pick up on the negative energy surrounding them. The best you can do is recognize the signs, intervene, and make sure to help them cope with it. Unfortunately, it is all around us, every day, and sheltering them too much will not do them good in the long run.

In doing your best to prevent it, be sure to talk it over with your children. Always listen to their problems and approach them with an open mind, no matter how petite those problems might seem to you. What’s small to us may be bigger than world to them, remember.

Babies and Stress?

Believe it or not, even babies get stressed out. However, the type of stress they feel is mostly caused by high levels of stimulation given everything they are experiencing is new to them and they need time to process it. One of the best things you can do to calm them down is through physical contact. If you want to help your baby feel calm, get a comfy swaddle wrap and swaddle your baby into it. These are really amazing because they  recreate the conditions in the womb so that the baby feels warm and safe. It will soothe your newborn’s cry and help them fall asleep. But no matter what, mommy’s soothing touch does the magic and can calm down even the rowdiest of babies. The only thing to bear in mind is that babies feel what their moms are feeling (including stress), so try to be calm and relaxed, and you’ll help them feel that way too.

Children Dealing With Stress

Young kids have plenty of problems besides studying and being good at school/sports/extracurricular activities given they have to deal with peer pressure. Most parents ignore the signs and mistake them for rudeness or being spoiled, but things can be quite problematic as their children have no idea how to handle stressful situations. Naturally, if not handled in time, these exact situations may have a negative impact on their later life. The important thing is to keep communication channels open. No matter how big the situation or the mistake the kid’s made, you must sit down and talk to them. Even when they’re not feeling like talking, try to read their body language and find ways to approach them. Otherwise, they will slowly become introvert and cut you off altogether.

Teens Are Not Exempt

Hitting teen ages means that your kid will go through a lot of hormonal, emotional and physical changes, and it’ll be very hard.

Nonetheless, this is a period when they go on a journey of self-discovery that, apart from being gratifying, will also be very demanding and, therefore, stressful. Unless you help them, they will potentially end up making bad decisions that will jeopardize their future engagements and personal growth.

Still, recognizing the signs of stress in teens is perhaps the hardest part of mending the issue; teen years are when children feel like the whole world is against them, so they will rarely ever try to find solace in talking to their parents. When asked about the problem, they’ll usually refuse your help or deny the existence of that problem. Your best strategy is to be patient and help them as you go. Stay close to your child and be very observant to the life they’re starting to lead. Their cry for help will come in various forms – from destructive behavior, shutting down, image changes to bad language, unusual social behavior, etc.

Ignoring your child’s cries for help is the worst thing you could do as it will cause additional pain, and in the long run, it could have devastating effects. On the other hand, you shouldn’t be too pampering; after all, the child’s psyche needs to develop and they have to learn ways to cope with the world around them, explore and grow. Stress can never be rooted out, but it can be made bearable with a lot of love, understanding and care. 

 

Zara Lewis (Twitter: @ZaraELewis) is a mom, fitness & yoga enthusiast and a regular writer for

High Style Life. She is devoted to implementing healthy life habits in every aspect of life of her

family and friends. She loves to share her parenting tips and is always open to learning some new skills, because she sees her parenthood as going to school forever. She enjoys traveling, hiking, cycling and baking.

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