Ref: CHB/HB/49/15                                                                          

CHILD STRESS

As providers and caretakers, adults tend to view the world of children as happy and carefree. After all, kids don’t have jobs to keep or bills to pay, so what could they possibly have to worry about?

Childhood Stress can be caused by any situation that requires the child to adapt or change. The Situation often produces anxiety. Stress may be caused by positives changes, such as starting a new activity, but it is most commonly linked with negative changes such as illness or death in the family.

Main Source of Stress & Anxiety in Children:-

  • Hurried over scheduled work.
  • Temperaments and personality.
  • Absence of healthy love and attachment.
  • Too much pressure on children to perform.
  • Stressed parents who rush.
  • Not enough calm, still, quiet solo time.
  • Poor sleep pattern.
  • Too much stimulation from TV, toys and adult commands.
  • Not enough consistency and routines.
  • Too much social change.
  • Shaming language.
  • Threats of abuse and violence.

Physical Symptoms can include:

  • Decreased appetite, other changes in eating habits
  • Headache
  • New or recurrent bedwetting
  • Nightmares
  • Sleep disturbances

Emotional or Behavioral Symptoms may include:

  • Worries
  • Inability to relax
  • New or recurring fears ( fear of the dark, fear of being alone)
  • Clinging, unwilling to let you out of sight.
  • Anger
  • Unwillingness to participate in family or school activities.

How Parents can Help:

Parents can help children respond to stress in healthy ways. Following are some tips: 

  • Provide a safe, secure, familiar, consistent, and dependable home.
  • Be selective in the television programs that young children watch (including news broadcasts), which can produce fears and anxiety.
  • Spend calm, relaxed time with your children.
  • Encourage your child to ask questions.
  • Encourage expression of concerns, worries, or fears.
  • Listen to your child without being critical.
  • Build your child's feelings of self-worth. Use encouragement and affection. Try to involve your child in situations where he or she can succeed.
  • Try to use positive encouragement and reward instead of punishment.
  • Keep your child informed of necessary and anticipated changes such as changes in jobs or moving.
  • Seek professional help or advice when signs of stress do not decrease or disappear.

What Children Can Do To Relieve Stress?
 
Encourage your children to discuss their emotions. Help them come up with simple ways to change the stressful situation or their response to it.
 
Below are some tips that children can follow to help reduce stress: 

  • Talk about your problems. If you cannot communicate with your parents, try someone else that you can trust.
  • Try to relax. Listen to calm music. Take a warm bath. Close your eyes and take slow deep breaths. Take some time for yourself. If you have a hobby or favorite activity, give yourself time to enjoy it.
  • Exercise. Physical activity reduces stress.
  • Set realistic expectations. Do your best, and remember that nobody is perfect.
  • Learn to love yourself and respect yourself. Respect others. Be with people who accept and respect you.
  • Ask for help if you are having problems managing your stress.

 
Reference:-https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002059.htm
http://www.confident-woman.com.au/managing-anxiety-children/2010/1/21/the-causes-of-stress-and-anxiety-in-children.html

Quotes:

Imam Ali son of Abu Talib (AS) said:

Do not force your children to behave like you, for surely they have been created for a time which is different to your time.

Surely the heart of a child is like fallow ground: whatever is planted in it is accepted by it.
 

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