Why You Need to Watch For Stress in Your Kids
Being a parent can be hard. In between play dates and parent/teacher meetings, work and family commitments, we all feel the pressure from time to time. Stress is common among parents, especially single Moms and Dads, and parents to children with learning difficulties. But while many of us get anxious and try to manage our symptoms with a soak in the tub, a foot massage, a therapy session, or glass of wine; did you ever stop to think that your kids could be feeling stressed too?
You Transmit Your Nerves to Your Kids
You may think that just because you do your best to put a brave face on things or that they’re sleeping and don’t hear your raised voice, that your children are exempt from your troubles. But kids are like sponges and much more sensitive than you might think. They’re also more perceptive, and if you’re not feeling so good, the chances are that you’ll see the signs reflected in their behavior, whether it’s in the form of aggression, irritability, temper tantrums, anxiety attacks, or being more distant than usual.
Stress Can Manifest Physically
Stress can manifest itself physically in children, with as many as one in three kids suffering from bruxism (teeth grinding) at some point during their childhood. They may also experience the physical effects of stress with a tension headache, stomach ache, earache, or anxiety attack. It’s important to be on the lookout for these signs, and if your child complains of teeth or jaw pain, a ringing in their ears, or you hear them clenching at night, you may need to get a bite guard fitted for them to protect the tooth enamel.
Stress Can Isolate Kids from Their Friends
If you think your child may be under stress, the best way to approach the subject is to be open about it. Speak to them in a soothing voice, as shouting at your kids can have a negative lasting effect on them. If your kids are too young to express themselves, try discussing your concerns with your partner, caregiver, or teacher.
Stress can be brought on by many situations, but a common one in kids is a desire to fit in, and if they have had a fight with a playmate or are feeling estranged at school, they can start to withdraw, act out, or worse; their health can suffer.