How To Help a Child With Anxiety and Stress?

  • Home
  • How To Help a Child With Anxiety and Stress?
How To Help a Child With Anxiety and Stress?

Reasons For Stress In a Child, Here’s How You Can Help

Stress is a common component in life. Big or small, every human being stresses about something or the other.

As we grow up, we get into a more stressful routine in life. We think about work, family responsibilities, health, etc. But have you ever stopped and wondered about stress in children’s lives?

Yes, the stress in kids is a real thing, and no, it’s not about toys or games.

Stress occurs in humans when there is a feeling of being overwhelmed, and children get overwhelmed too:

  • In preschoolers, separation from parents can cause anxiety. As children get older, academic and social pressures (especially from fit in) create stress.
  • Violent, terrifying news stories can also make your child feel unsafe and get stressed.
  • The content on the internet is sometimes not apt for their age. Hassink says. “Look at the content your child’s watching. Put it in context for them. Parents need to be present and be more aware of what their children are taking in.”
  • Getting bullied or made fun of makes your child or anyone, for that matter, feels extremely small.
  • Being isolated from their previous friends’ circle will also make your child overthink and stress.

Kids’ stress may be aggravated by more than just what’s happening in their own lives. Children may overhear you talking about troubles at work, worrying about a relative’s illness, or arguing with your spouse about financial matters? As parents, you should be careful regarding the issues you are discussing when kids are near because children will pick up on their parents’ anxieties and start to worry themselves.

Mental Health

So how can you as parents/guardians figure out signs of stress in children?

  • Children usually show signs of being stressed physically (stomach aches, headaches) through their behaviour (acting detached, mood swings), eating habits (loss of appetite).
  • Sometimes have a hard time concentrating in school, which leads to changes in their academic performance.
  • Younger children may pick up habits like thumb sucking, hair twirling, or nose picking; older kids may begin to lie, bully, or defy authority.
  • A child who is stressed also may overreact to minor problems, have nightmares, become clingy.

Child behaviour

How can you help them?

  • Make it easy: keep the environment at home calm, safe and secure. Let the child play, read, nap, or do whatever they feel like, at least when they are home.
  • Be attentive: not all children may want to talk to their parents about their stress. Stay alert to minor details or signs they may be leaving you to help them. Talk to them (do not hover) so that they know you are here for them. Also, whenever you listen to them, don’t dismiss their problems, it might be a minor issue for you, but it is a big deal for them.
  • Keep them involved: tell kids what is going on in your family, school, anywhere. Hearing it from you will make them realise that you respect them and their opinions, making them feel wanted and necessary.
  • Routines: Get children to follow healthy routines, making their beds when they wake up, eating healthy, exercise, sleeping at the right hour, etc.
  • Get help: break the stigma attached to therapy. If and when needed, take your child to a therapist (after consulting with the paediatrician) to talk and get professional help.
  • Take good care of yourself: nothing upsets a child more than seeing their loved one unhealthy. You don’t have to put up an act and fake your feelings. Children read through you. Just take good care of yourself. When you ease your stress, you boost your connection to your children.

stress, anxiety, and mental health

All you have to realise is stress, anxiety, and mental health are as crucial in a child’s life as they are in an adult’s. Younger kids may not understand what is precisely bothering them and why they are stressed. You need to talk and work your way through to them. Older children are more aware and can tell what is exactly bothering them.

Older or younger, everyone needs help and support through tough times.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *