When we talk about stress, we think that only adults suffer from it. What about the stress that is affecting our children? Why don’t we speak about it at all? Researchers have found that children also start suffering from stress from a very young age. The reasons for this can be many or just one. Like academic competition, personal success goals, hormonal changes or domestic circumstances. Whatever the reason be, stress is gripping more children now than ever.
As a parent it is your responsibility to look for its signs in your child. So if your child is suffering from it, things can be managed while still at the developmental stage. Once your child surrenders to stress, it becomes relatively difficult to come back to normalcy and have a healthy life. Here are eight signs that a parent needs to look for in her / his child.
- Becoming moody: If your child is becoming moody lately or not behaving the regular way, she / he might just be suffering from stress. Stress makes children behave in a weird manner. Even if it is about small things like eating, playing, reading, watching TV or anything else, a child who is under stress will not be at her / his best behaviour and act differently. fs she / he does not eat her / his favourite food or ignore her / his favourite cartoon, she / he is definitely in stress.
- Lower grades: Stress makes children lose focus. It affects them badly and leaves them crippled mentally and physically. If your child’s grades are coming down and you think that she / he is not showing her / his full potential, stress might just be at work here.
- Lacking concentration: Stress grips children so hard that they forget to concentrate on other things. If your child is a talker and stops a conversation mid-way or just digresses, she / he is fighting stress and losing focus.
- Nightmares: Yes, stress can give children nightmares. When children experience stress for the first time, and lack its understanding, they go through sleep-related fear. They often find it difficult to sleep or just wake up drenched in sweat in the middle of the night.
- Getting aggressive: Aggression is the most certain give away of stress. Since children don’t realize that they are in stress, they start reacting to situations with physical and verbal aggression. They also fail to accomplish tasks that require patience as they become less patient as well.
- Hyperactive actions: Children don’t have the ability to handle stress all by their own. They also don’t discuss their situation openly with others. As a result they start to release negative energy and develop temper issues, become less obedient and try to run away from others.
- Less friendly: A child in stress will become solitary and show very less interest in family and friends. She / he would talk less, eat alone and not go out to play much. Even in school, she / he will not behave properly and will have limited interaction with teachers and classmates.
- Eating and sleeping troubles: When a child goes through stress, all of her / his focus shifts to understand her / his situation. As a result, she / he will either lose or grow appetite and won’t sleep much. If your child suddenly starts to eat more or less than normal or spends more time waking up, she / he might have fallen victim to stress.
Always remember that noticing these signs will help you understand your child’s situation. The real action will begin after that. Once you are sure that your child is going through stress, you will have to stand by his side and take matters in your own hands. Discussing with your child what she / he is feeling and going through will be the first step in this process. Always make your child feel that you are with her / him in every situation. Fighting stress is not as difficult as it may seem in the beginning. With a few right steps and actions you can help your child get out of it.