Like adults, children deal with daily stress. From issues at school to trouble at home, there are several reasons that your child could be dealing with mental health issues. Prioritising your child's mental health is essential for raising a happy and healthy individual. Stress can cause a lot of problems for your child. It is important to recognise the signs and to learn what you can do to help your little one navigate the world more peacefully.
Stress Can Cause Illness in Children
Too much stress can cause children to develop a subluxation, which consists of neurological interferences, fixation and tension, and misalignment. The neurological interferences are the most important, as they can cause pain and chronic illness in children. A distressed child is more likely to develop these conditions, which can then become symptomatic.
Symptoms of Too Much Stress in a Child
There are many different signs that a child is dealing with too much stress in his or her life. Babies who live in stressful environments may develop symptoms of colic. Children of all ages may have trouble sleeping, have chronic ear infections, or deal with gastrointestinal problems. Chronic pain, fatigue, and functional movement disorders are common as well.
Symptoms of too much stress go well beyond the physical, though. There are also many symptoms that present as mental health challenges. A child who is dealing with too much stress may have frequent meltdowns, have trouble concentrating in school, and be hyperactive or impulsive. He or she may also have trouble regulating emotions.
Causes of Stress in Children
There are many things that cause a child to become so stressed that he or she acts out emotionally or becomes physically sick. Perhaps the most common cause is bullying while at school. School-age children are often the victims of name-calling, being ostracized by their supposed friend groups, and even physical bullying. Cyberbullying is another type of bullying that many children and teenagers experience. Cyberbullying can come in the form of texts, social media posts and comments, and more. Often, cyberbullying comes from the same people who are bullying your children at school.
It isn't just school bullies that cause children to become stressed, though. Many children become stressed because there is tension at home. Parents may be stressed due to jobs or financial worries and bring that tension into the home. Sometimes, stress occurs because parents decide to divorce, which can be very difficult for a child. Overall, if a home environment is tense, a child is more likely to develop symptoms of distress.
How a Parent Can Help a Child Deal With Stress
The first thing a parent can do to help a child who is dealing with stress is to be aware enough to recognise the signs that a child is distressed. When a parent begins to recognise that a child may be distressed, communication is the key. Talk to your child to determine the source of the stress. If you suspect that your child is at immediate risk of harming themselves, then head to your local emergency room. Otherwise, consider individual or family therapy to help everyone work through the tension and learn healthy coping mechanisms.
Every child is different in how they display signs of distress, whether they are willing to talk about it, and how they will respond to therapy. Unfortunately, there is no one way to help a child who is in distress. However, understanding the signs and symptoms, having strong and clear communication with your child, and knowing what outside resources are available to your family can help you to combat stress and ensure your child remains safe, healthy, and happy.
This article was kindly written and contributed by Lewis Robinson.