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However, they are also very sensitive to their environments and can be easily upset by small changes in their everyday happenings. Children will often display signs of stress, discomfort, or anxiety, that parents should be able to identify. But every toddler differs and the way they react relies on their personalities and it can be difficult to notice if your child is going through some sort of physical or emotional trauma if it isn’t blatantly obvious.
What are the common reasons for stress in children?
There are a number of factors that could be influencing your child, but these are the main culprits to childhood stress from Elizabeth Pantley, the author of The No-Cry Separation Anxiety Solution:
- Change in regular sleep and eating habits
- Change in emotions (showing signs of being sad, clingy, withdrawn, or angry)
- Increase in crying or tantrums
- Nightmares and fears at bedtime
- Physical ailments, such as headaches or stomachaches
- Anxious tics, coughs, or body movements
- Frequent reliance on habits such as hair chewing or thumb-sucking
- Change in bowel movements
While these are signs of stress, they could also be related to change in growth in hormones, but they are all worth keeping an eye on if they are being displayed by your child.
So what are the main reasons for childhood stress? These can include:
- Separation anxiety
- Big changes in family (new child or divorce)
- Too much in their schedule
- Changes in routine
- Bullying at kindergarten
- Potty training
- Inability to make friends
- Struggling to adapt to school
How to implement emotional management:
If you have picked up that your child is stressed or emotionally overwhelmed, there are a number of solutions that you can use to try and help them get through it:
Extra love and affection
The most important thing for your child is security and changes in the family like a new child or divorce may upset that. Make sure that you give them extra love and affection to ensure that they know that no matter what is happening around them, that you will always be there to support them.
Stick to a schedule or routine
Children rely on routines and habits. Any changes in their daily programs can stress them large amounts. If there has been a change in schedule, ensure that it doesn’t keep swapping around or getting moved. Create a schedule and stick to it and your child will get used to the change in no time.
Speak to their teacher
If your child is struggling at school, one of the first approaches to the issue should be to talk to their class teacher. The teacher can probably help you to find out where your child is struggling, why they are struggling and give you advice on how to find solutions to their problems.
Help them identify their emotions through games
One of the hardest things about emotional management in children is that they very seldom have the word to identify what they are feeling. You can use games, activities or cartoons (think Inside Out) to help your child learn about the different emotions and they can then tell you why they are having problems. This helps to identify what they are feeling, why they are feeling it, and you can begin to work on fixing it.
Educational toys are one of the best solutions to emotional management in children. Our Emotions and Values products teach children how to identify the varying emotions through games and can help parents to safely and happily find solutions for what is troubling their little ones. Contact us for more information.