Stress In Kids: Who Is At Fault?

Stress In Kids: Who Is At Fault?

In the past, stress used to be associated with adults but not anymore. Stress in kids maybe a new phenomenon but it is gradually becoming more and more common as we speak. We tend to read stories of children battling with depression or even entertaining suicidal thoughts. There are even stories of children dying of cardiac arrest these days. What’s the root cause of this problem and how can it be resolved?

The world has become a very stressful place for both the old and the young. However, when discussing stress in kids, there are still many things left unexplained than what is provided by the mainstream media.

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Symptoms That Your Child Is Stressed

Certain behavioral patterns or changes may be the triggers of pent-up stress within your child.

  • If your child is getting frequent nightmares, it may be a sign of stress or traumatic experiences.
  • The inability to concentrate on homework or schoolwork is another sign that your child is stressed.
  • Few children demonstrate increased aggression in either physical or verbal form or both. This is most often the result of them being stressed and traumatized. Sometimes, the kids also suffer from eating or sleeping related disorders.
  • If your kid is frequently wetting the bed, talk to him with care, caution and attention. It is quite possible that this is the result of him being burdened with pent-up stress.
  • Kids tend to release a lot of negative energy in the form of hyperactivity when they cannot handle stress. Throwing unnecessary tantrums and being disobedient are things that should alarm parents that there may be a stress related issue developing.
  • A kid dealing with stress issues may suddenly become withdrawn from family and friends. This is a very severe phase of stress and needs to be dealt with immediately with sensitivity.

How Parents Add To The Stress Without Wanting To?

There are so many reasons why stress in kids is on the rise and sadly, without even realising it, parents have a role in it.

#1. The Pressure Of Occupation

Most parents spend the larger part of their day in their workplaces and their kids get to see them for only a few hours. It is only expected that this will place a measure of emotional strain on the children. Many kids who have no one to confide in adds up to their stress levels.

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#2. Unrealistic Expectations

Parents and society at large are to blame for this. Not every child will excel in sports or academics like his or her peers but this is a fact that many parents are not willing to entertain. “If John can pass all his subjects with A’s or excel in sports my child should do the same”. Placing such unrealistic expectations on your child’s tender shoulders is a terrible way to motivate him to be better. Rather than achieving your end goal, the child may crumble under the weight of your expectations. Children should be allowed to grow at their own pace and pursue interests that matter to them, not your own. Having expectations as a parent and as a society is not wrong but understanding the uniqueness of each child is what matters most.

#3. Insufficient Social Activities

Many kids spend more time watching television, playing video games or surfing the Internet than participating in the real world. And the worst part of it is that, we as parents, indulge in them doing so. The value of social interaction and integration is being lost on this generation. This also leads to social isolation which has diverse consequences and some of it’s negative symptoms include depression, aggressive behavior, extreme shyness, introversion, suicidal thoughts, difficulty in making or keeping friends and poor communication skills to mention a few.

Some schools have little or no social engagement programs included in their curriculum while many parents see outdoor activities as a waste of time. All of these add up to the stress levels of the kids.

What Can You Do As A Parent To Relieve Your Kid’s Stress?

  • Accepting the fact that stress in kids is a reality, is the first step to dealing with this problem.
  • Parents must understand that the responsibility of parenting should not be transferred to teachers in the classroom.
  • Tending to the emotional needs of your child is just as important as tending to his material needs.
  • Parents must teach kids to balance the focus on academics and social activities as this is an effective way to reduce stress in the classroom.
  • Kids should be treated with care attention and appreciation. A little pat on the back on a day your child is seemingly low or a friendly chat with your child after a hectic day at school, may work wonders in relieving their stress.

As a hands-on parent you may introduce kids to calming activities like yoga, music, breathing exercises, morning walk etc.

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