Stress in Children

Coping With Everyday Problems

Stress is a natural part of life, but it can be especially tough on younger people. They have their own stress plus they can't escape from the stress of their family and teachers.

Most of the information is our main article on stress applies to children also. But here's some information just regarding children.

Watch for negative changes in behavior

Youth of all ages, but especially younger children, may find it difficult to recognize and verbalize when they are experiencing stress. For many children, stress can manifest itself through changes in behavior. Some common changes can include:

  • Acting irritable or moody
  • Withdrawing from activities that used to give them pleasure
  • Routinely expressing worries, complaining more than usual about school
  • Crying, displaying surprising fearful reactions
  • Clinging to a parent or teacher
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Eating too much or too little

Understand that “feeling sick” may be caused by stress

Stress can often appear as physical symptoms such as head aches and stomach aches. If your child makes excessive trips to the school nurse or complains of frequent stomach aches or head aches (when they have been given a clean bill of health by their physician), or if these complaints increase in certain situations, such as before a big test, the child may be experiencing significant stress.

Be aware of how your child interacts with others

Sometimes a child may seem like their usual self at home but be acting out in unusual ways in other situations. It is very important for parents to network with one another so that they can come to know how their children are doing in the world around them. In addition to communicating with other parents, keeping in contact with teachers, school administrators and leaders of sports and extracurricular activities can help parents tap into their children’s feelings and behaviors, and be aware of any sources of concern.

For more information, here is an excellent article on stress in children from the American Psychological Association.

You may be interested in our other stress related articles:

Stress in General and Holiday Stress in Children

Home :: Contact Us :: Map & Directions :: Secure Order Form