Child Stress: Signs and Parental Management Tips

June 14, 2022

While many of us think of stress as something only adults experience, this couldn't actually be further from the truth. While their reasons for stressing and stress symptoms will often be very different from ours, kids absolutely stress as well -- and parents are often looking for ways to help limit stressors or improve the ways their kids deal with stress as it presents itself. 

At Devlin's Child Development Center, we're here to help. We offer quality child care programs to our Sandy clients, from daycare and preschool to after-school care, with dedicated professionals who care about your child's well-being. We know many of the signs of child stress and how to recognize them, plus will work directly with you as a parent if you're worried about your child's stress levels during the day. As a parent, what are some of the ways you can help here? Let's go over several basics in this two-part blog series.

Signs of Child Stress

First and foremost, it pays as a parent to be able to recognize the signs that your child is stressed. Here are a few such common signs:

  • Sleep issues or nightmares: For some children, stress can manifest in the form of poor sleep or even nightmares. If your child is having regular difficulty sleeping or experiences more bad dreams than usual, this could be a sign that something is stressing them out during the day.
  • Irritability or moodiness: Children who are stressed may also act out more, either through increased irritability or other methods.
  • Getting more clingy: Some kids may respond to stress by becoming more clingy or needy, looking for extra reassurance and attention from adults.
  • Poor eating habits: If your child starts showing poor eating habits, such as not eating lunch at school or picking at their food more often, this could be a sign that something is stressing them out.

Our next several sections will go over some tips for how parents can help their children manage stress.

Let Them Know You're Here

Firstly, let your child know that it's perfectly fine to talk about whatever is stressing them out -- and that you're there to listen. You may not always be able to fix their stressors, but just being a good listener can go a long way in helping your child feel better.

Help Them Find the Positives

Children will often be stressed by particular situations or people in their lives. In some cases, there may not be anything you can do to change this -- but you can help your child look for the positives in any given situation.

For example, if your child is having trouble with a bully at school, talk about how they're handling the situation well or how they have great friends to support them. If they're struggling with a difficult project, talk about how it's helping them learn and grow. Helping your child find the positives in any situation can help them feel better about themselves and more capable of managing their stress.

In part two of our series, we'll go over some further tips on how to manage or limit stress in your children. For more on this, or to learn about any of our caring Sandy child care programs, speak to the staff at Devlin's Child Development Center today.

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