Did you know that stress reflects differently in children than it does in adults? Most adults either talk it out or crawl into isolation to hide away from their problems. A child, on the other hand, can get drawn to study more, paint, or take up activities that keep them from engaging with friends.
Both school and home provide the most common sources of stress in children. With the ongoing pandemic, they are prone to even higher stress levels at home with some cases being increased starvation, drug use, and cases of domestic violence, bullying and excessive workload at school.
While the adults struggle to adapt to the new normal, children in many homes are left to find other means to cope with their stress. It also means that parents barely notice when their kids are affected or do not expect it to be serious.
Painful secrets that children keep:
In many instances, parents disregard their children’s feelings on the assumption that they are ‘just kids’. What do they know anyway? Unfortunately, children can tell when they are ignored and may stop communicating their distress if no one listens.
Few kids, especially teens and preteens, will tell of all their fears and concerns. The more knowledgeable they become, the more embarrassed they seem to be! This, unfortunately, also means that kids can take the blame for things that happen to them, even when it’s not their fault.
As a result, they could decide to keep it a secret. Harsh parents are, especially, known to drive their children to this point with their lack of compassion.
How to tell if your child is under too much stress
As your child grows and takes on more responsibilities, whether at home or in school, they become more susceptible to stress.
But how can you tell if your child is affected? Here are tell-tale signs to guide you:
- Increased aggression
- Wetting the bed
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Overreacting to minor problems
- Poor eating habits
How you can help your child
Children often feel scared and alone whenever they are unsure of a situation. To help, try to make them feel more secure in the way you relate with them and others around them. Here are other ways you can help:
- Encourage talks and let them know that you understand their feelings.
- Keep fights away from them.
- Remind them that the situation is not their fault when it isn’t.
- Acknowledge any help they offer at home.
- Encourage physical activities to help channel any negative energy.
Working to build your child’s confidence is perhaps the most effective way to help them handle problems on their own. Engage with their teachers to help monitor their behavior and should you be able to, consider involving a child psychologist for help.
In the end, your objective is to help nurture your child into the best version of themselves.