Maybe you’ve been concerned about your child’s wellbeing lately. You can’t quite put your finger on the problem, but they just haven’t seemed like themself. Or perhaps your family has been going through a tough time recently, and you’ve noticed that the stress has been rubbing off on them. You may not have the power to solve the problem entirely, yet you want to help your child as best as you can.

As an adult, it’s tough to deal with stress. But children lack the agency to address the sources of stress in their lives, and your child might not even be old enough to truly understand or name these complex emotions.

Recognizing when your child is stressed is the first step to giving them the support they need. Here are a few telltale signs that your child is stressed.

Irritability

Lately, your child has been snapping at everyone in your household. Sometimes, you don’t even know what sets off their irritation. It seems to come out of nowhere.

Even when you ask your child a simple question, or ask if they want to play a game they usually love, they become annoyed with you. Irritability doesn’t necessarily mean that your child is personally angry with you or that you’ve done anything wrong. Irritability and stress often go hand in hand.

Behavior Regression

Maybe you thought your child had moved beyond behaviors like tantrums and meltdowns. But suddenly, every minor problem results in a tantrum once again.

Behavior regression can be a sign that your child is under stress. It may seem like they’re years younger overnight. As a parent, it can frustrating to feel like these behaviors were in the rearview, only for your child to start engaging with them again. But patience is key.

Frequent Crying

Even adults sometimes break down crying due to high stress levels. It’s no wonder that kids can’t help but cry when they’re stressed, too.

If your child has been crying more often, especially if it happens at the drop of a hat, there’s a good chance that they’re stressed. It can be harder to stay calm and hold back tears when you’re stressed, and this applies to children and adults alike.

Trouble Sleeping

Your child used to fall asleep easily. But recently, they’ve been struggling to fall asleep. When they do manage to get some shut-eye, they wake up frequently throughout the night. They might toss and turn and struggle to fall asleep again.

Some nights, they may even have nightmares, which makes them feel nervous about bedtime the following nights. Stress can be a major contributing factor to sleep troubles in children. Unfortunately, these sleep troubles can actually exacerbate their stress. Exhaustion and fatigue can worsen anxiety, and in turn, this makes it even harder to sleep at night.

Acting Out in School

Perhaps your child’s teacher has reached out to you recently with concerns about your child’s behavior. You were surprised, as your child had never had behavioral issues in school before. But lately, they’ve been defiant in the classroom.

Maybe they’ve been refusing to listen to the teacher, or they’ve picked fights with their classmates. They might be falling behind on schoolwork as well. Sometimes, behavioral issues in school are rooted in stress. You’ll still need to communicate with your child’s teacher to resolve the issue, but your child might be bringing stress from home into the classroom, or having trouble with bullies.

Has your child seemed particularly stressed lately? They might benefit from working with a therapist. Contact with us to find out more about our child therapy services.

 

 

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