Is Your Child Stressed?

Parents are no stranger to stress. However, adults are capable of articulating feelings and identifying what is causing the pressure. So what happens when children become stressed? Young children often have a hard time expressing themselves, making it hard for parents to differentiate stress from “a stage” or a bad day. It’s up to parents to assist children in voicing their feelings and then take the appropriate actions to help them relieve the stress.

First thing’s first. Look for signs that your child may be stressed. According to the American Psychological Association, the following could be indicators of stress in a child:

Negative Changes in Behavior. While negative changes in behavior are not always linked to stress, it is often a clue that something is wrong. Look for periods of change – not just a bad day. In younger children, signs could be excessive whining or irritability, clinginess, sleeping or eating too much or too little. For older children, signs could be complaining repeatedly about school, withdrawing from activities they usually enjoy or routinely expressing worries.

Excessive Physical Symptoms. If your child has a clean bill of health from the doctor, but is repeatedly experiencing stomachaches or headaches or generally not feeling well these may be signs of stress.

Feedback from Others. It is important for parents to know what is happening with their child in the world around them. Communicating with other parents, teachers, school leaders or coaches about your concerns will help you find out if they’ve identified similar behaviors or have the same worries.

Expressing themselves Negatively. Young children don’t know what the word “stress” means and can have trouble expressing it. They may start heavily voicing their feelings of stress through other words, such as “angry,” “confused” or “upset.” They also may make negative statements about themselves.

If you think your child is stressed, there are several ways to help you and them cope:

  1. Find stress busters. Whether it’s changing routines or changing your parenting behavior, small efforts can make the difference in alleviating your child’s tenseness. Parenting resources, such as this article, can help with ideas.

  2. Seek support. No one says you have to do it all on your own. If your child’s stress begins to escalate and you’re having trouble helping him manage, look for help. It could be another parent, family member, counselor or licensed mental health professional.

  3. Maintain your own stress. Your behaviors impact your children in so many ways and can often cause stress for them. Here are some mom de-stressors that can help manage your own stress.


    Get It Together...
    Tips on Organizing Your Life.

Juggling is a skill that all working parents are familiar with—kids, work, housework and relationships are all proverbial balls that are in the air. It’s our responsibility to ensure they don’t all come crashing down to create chaos.

Organization is key to making sure all the moving parts in your life keep going smoothly, while maintaining your sanity, even when 24 hours in a given day doesn’t seem to be enough time.


Evaluate the havoc. What is causing you and your family stress? Where do you feel like things fall apart? Do you feel like you are spending all evening in the kitchen – tidying up, preparing dinner, cleaning up again? Or all morning battling with your daughter to get dressed in time? Determining where the struggle is will help you focus on developing organizational techniques that work for you.

Find inspiration. Mommy blogs, parenting websites, phone apps and Pinterest all offer tips, advice, suggestions and sounding boards for ideas on organization and reducing clutter. Disclaimer: though extremely helpful in gathering ideas, these sites can be a distraction and result in more overload. So set time limits on yourself.


Make it like clockwork. To adults, the idea of a routine may seem confining but for children, especially younger ones, routines establish security and help them understand what to expect.� Routines are especially beneficial for those hectic times of the day – the morning, mealtimes, nap times and the evening.� Stay consistent and include preparation for the transitions, such as “We have 10 minutes left before it’s time for bath.”

Enlist support. An organized life does not have to rest on one parent’s shoulders. Find ways for family members, your spouse and children to help with tasks and finding ways to be efficient. This could include keeping a family calendar that you share with your spouse or in-laws so everyone is aware of their responsibilities.


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