We mothers try our hardest to give our children their best possible lives. Even so, we cannot protect them from all the evils of this world because they are far too many. When children face these evils, they get stressed out. Children are very precious in the sense that they often suffer in silence. It is up to us, as parents, to recognize the signs and help them cope with their troubles.
Here are just some of the signs children show when they are stressed:
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Signs Your Child is Stressed:
Insomnia or Excessive Sleeping
When under pressure, your child might show a change in their sleeping patterns. They might not be able to fall asleep easily. They might even force themselves to stay up. Other than that, you will notice that your child often wakes up in the middle of the night from a nightmare.
The opposite of this is hypersomnia, where your child will show a reluctance to wake up. They might even fall asleep at random times during the day, which is a classic sign of your child undergoing some problem.
Decreased Academic Performance
Now, every child cannot be an A grade student, especially from the beginning. Children have their own pace at which they learn, and some children just need more adjustments than others.
However, every child has a certain level of academic prowess. You, as a parent, must be aware of where your child stands on an average when there is no trouble.
When your child’s performance drops below that level, you know something is up. Do not reprimand your little one for faltering though, understand their problem and then help them out.
Children are not fully aware of how to communicate their troubles with their parents. They cannot tell when something is wrong, and they certainly cannot talk about it.
However, you will see many behavioral changes in kids when they are stressed. One of the most common things is emotional outbursts.
Your young one might be calm and relaxed all day, or silent and moody all day, and then suddenly they will begin screaming at you or someone else. They will overreact to the smallest situations and create a ruckus in the house on purpose.
Do not be too alarmed or punish your child. Instead, let them know that you hear them and are there for them to get through this difficult time. The outbursts are just their way of communicating with you, and if you acknowledge that you hear them, there is a big chance they might stop.
Children’s bodies are small and very fragile. Stress-induced pain in the back or in the neck can hurt them as much as back pain from a car accident because they are so frail. Stress pain will also likely keep your child from being active and flexible, like usual.
Pain in the back, head, neck, or even shoulders is characteristic of a lot of stress. If you see your child complaining of such pain and all other possibilities are ruled out, you can assume that the pain is due to stress.
Certain types of fears that your child develops over time are also characteristic of being under pressure. For example, if your child is suddenly afraid of the dark, unfamiliar people, or sleeping without you, it might be because they are in a negative headspace. If you notice your child display such behavior, it might be time to talk to them about what’s bothering them.
Refusing to be Social
Children can be introverted or extroverted. You must know what their social inclinations are. Even so, there are some social situations that children face without any hesitation, like family dinners or school.
If you notice that your child does not want to go to school or meet with certain friends or family members or is you see them behaving in an unusual manner about any social situation, it might be time to put on your detective hat and see what the little one is bothered about.
Children are not in control of their natural bodily functions like adults and teenagers are. If they are in a stressful space of mind, you can be sure that they will be more focused on that than listening to their body and remembering to go to the toilet. So if your bathroom-trained child wets the bed, you can be sure that there is something they are trying to keep under wraps.
Children are notorious for having improper eating habits; in fact, it is rare and surprising when children do not wreak havoc during mealtime. Even so, nearly all kids have some go-to foods, and parents know all the tactics they can use to get them to eat right.
So if you see that these tactics are not working and children are eating much more or unusually less than they mostly do, you might have a child facing too much pressure.
What Can You do to Help?
There is a lot you can do to help your distressed child, such as:
Discuss the problem with your child
Remember to be tactful when talking about their troubles. Do not be harsh or too upfront. Be subtle enough that they get the point without feeling attacked. Start off by normalizing stress; tell the little one that it is okay to be stressed out.
Talk about the various things that can be a cause of tension and how they can tell you about it. You will notice your child will open up to you on their own.
Figure out healthy ways to cope with stress
Expose your child to a world of possibilities, help them express their feelings through art and music. Find out ways to make them physically active and also help then with breathing exercises.
Limit their exposure to screens
Technology is amazing, but there is too much information out there that can be distressing to a little mind. So make sure you have all the parental locks in place and that your child is getting plenty of time away from screens.