How Stress Affects Children: 7 Things Parents Can Do To Help

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Stress can happen to anyone. Yes, it can even happen to children as well. This guide will go over the seven things that parents can do in order to help them overcome it.

Stress can lead to mental issues if it can’t be managed properly. Plus, it can also affect our physical health as well. If you need to learn more about what BasePoint Academy can do regarding stress and mental health for children, check out our website at https://basepointacademy.com/.

Let’s take a look at the following list of seven things you can do as a parent to help their child with stress.

Teach them coping skills

While stress can be a challenge to avoid completely, it can happen on some days. For this reason, it will be important to teach your child how to cope with it. This can include but is not limited to performing breathing exercises or meditation.

Other coping skills include going outside and engaging in physical activity. Another can be listening to music that will calm them down. There are plenty of different coping strategies you can test out and see which ones your child will respond with the most.

It’s important to teach them that there are negative coping mechanisms in terms of stress. This includes the use of substances. They may see it on TV or in real life.

But it doesn’t mean they should see it as a good idea. The healthier the coping skills are, the better your child can handle stress even when they get older.

 Remind them that they are loved and cared for

As a parent, you love and care about your children. It’s important to remind them of that. You can even take it a step further by doing group activities together.

You’re doing your part as a parent to help them take their mind off of stressful things. Let them know that everything is going to be OK. It’s also a good idea to set some routines in places so it gets them going in a specific rhythm throughout the day.

This can also get them to develop the habit of doing a few things each day that are healthy and positive. This includes going to bed at a certain time or even activities that can be done after school. Children who feel loved and cared for will stress less and will deal with little to no behavioral issues.

Identify the kind of stress they’re experiencing

There are different kinds of stress that a child can experience. Let’s take a look at the following and why it happens:

  • Positive stress: This happens when a child is faced with a challenge. They will need to focus on it in an effort to achieve the goals that come with it. This kind of stress can occur before a big event. It can be a sport they’re playing and it’s a championship game. It can be a recital. This is the kind of stress that will help a child learn and grow. Find ways to cope with this stress while avoiding things getting very hectic.
  • Life event stress: This can be a positive or negative event (depending on what it is). It can be moving to a new place or even the death of a loved one. 
  • Traumatic stress: This happens when a child experiences a traumatic event. This kind of stress will need to be dealt with by parents with extra support and care. It’s important that your child receive professional therapy in an effort to control this kind of stress.

Provide them with extra support during difficult times

A loved one that your child was close to may die. They may also experience something that can be stressful in a negative way. In situations like this, you’ll want to make sure you provide them with more than enough support and stability.

This may be a challenge on your end. But you can give your child a chance to talk with you. Ask them about how they are feeling.

Try and get to the root of the problem. You’ll be able to listen and reassure them that things like this might be normal. Some coping skills may be involved here as well such as going for a walk together. 

Know what the stressors are

Children can experience stress. Yet, it’s a matter of knowing how it was triggered. It can be due to a wide variety of factors.

For example, it can be due to moving to a new place. It can be a big event where they feel the need to excel. It can also be something as negative as bullying, neglect, or even negative events happening within the family (such as death, domestic violence, substance abuse, etc.).

This is one more good reason why you should talk with your child. Especially when they are stressed out about something. You’ll be able to figure out what it is and go from there.

Be on the lookout for behavioral issues

Behavioral issues can happen out of nowhere. So it may be a good idea to look out for any potential symptoms that may be connected to them. This can include aggression, poor emotional management, and even getting easily triggered by things that may upset them.

You may be seeing signs of potential toxic stress. At that point, you may want to consider a professional mental health therapist to help your child. An evaluation can be done to see what could be the issue.

Seek professional help, if possible

Certain kinds of stress can take a mental toll on a child. It’s important to help find professional help if this is the case. This should be a professional that specializes in children’s mental health.

Stress cannot go unnoticed or untreated without coping skills. There may be events in a child’s life that may have created this stress in the first place. If you have tried some of the strategies above and things go from bad to worse, a professional may have the answers and can help your child going forward.