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Stress

Stress affects children in different ways and all children handle stress differently. Stress can be positive as well as negative. There are many factors that influence this. Some kids internalize stress.

Sources of Stress:

At School Other sources of stress
  • fear of wetting themselves
  • being away from home and missing caregivers
  • worry about changing bodies
  • worry about getting lost in school hallways
  • fear of teacher punishment
  • worry about getting along with peers
  • worry about school work
  • worry about being last chosen on a team
  • major family change – divorce of parents, etc.
  • move to new town or city
  • serious illness

Signs of Stress

  • physical – headaches, stomach aches, vomiting, bed-wetting
  • emotional – sadness, irritability, fear
  • behavioural – losing temper, nervous tics, crying
  • interactions with others – teasing or bullying, shyness, withdrawal

How You Can Help Your Child Manage Stress

  • Encourage your child to talk about what is bothering them. Take opportunities like road trips.
  • Don’t ask what’s wrong. Instead ask “How are things at ____.”
  • Spend one-to-one-time. Find hobbies that you can do with the child.
  • Encourage healthy eating.
  • Teach relaxation skills.
  • Give back rubs and hugs.
  • Show them that mistakes are o.k.
  • Be clear about rules and consequences.
  • Role play and talk through difficult situations.
  • Tell stories about similar situations.
  • Be a role model.
  • Seek out professional support if necessary.

 

Links or Useful Resources for STRESS:
Families for Depression Awareness - www.familyaware.org
BC Partners For Mental Health & Addiction Information - www.heretohelp.bc.ca