Everyone is impacted by stress, including our kids. They experience stress in various areas of their lives, whether it’s school, friends, or, even their parents. And just like adults, every child reacts to stress differently. There is no one specific symptom when it comes to stress. However, we've put together a list of things to look for, and if you start seeing several of these signs, it may be time to step in and have a conversation with your child. Here are 8 things to watch for:
- Significant behavior changes, including tantrums or acting out. Remember, a child’s behavior is often a form of communication. Noticed changes could be a sign that something is bothering them, and they may not know how to tell you.
- Increased moodiness or irritability. A big shift in emotions can definitely indicate that a child is experiencing stress.
- Crying easily or more often. I’m sure adults can identify with this too.
- Frequent physical complaints, such as headaches or stomach aches. If your child reports these symptoms often, and there is no physical explanation for them, there’s a chance that stress could be the cause.
- Regressive behaviors. These are behaviors that your child has “grown out of," but then reverts back to under periods of high stress. Some of these could include bedwetting or use of baby talk.
- Avoidance of certain situations. An example is a sudden refusal to go to school. There could be any number of things causing it, but stress could definitely be a concern.
- Difficulty sleeping. If your child is generally a good sleeper, then suddenly struggles to fall asleep or stay asleep, stress may be the culprit.
- Trouble with concentration. Again, if your child typically focuses very well, then begins to find it difficult, it’s worth exploring.
Again, no one symptom means that a child is experiencing high levels of stress, but several of these signs at once warrants a conversation. As always, don’t forget to like us and subscribe.