Stress is one of the main components of contemporary society, one of the main reasons that cause some of the worst diseases. Children, unfortunately, can’t avoid this. Even if adults think about childhood as a carefree time, the children start experiencing stress pretty early. The situations that may seem trivial, unimportant, those ‘little’ things are really important and can cause a major change in your child’s behaviour.
Stress sources in children
Parent’s expectations, disagreements, divorce;
Parents, as the main role models and authority in a child’s life, have to take care of what their child sees. A certain set of expectations is set because of the way you interact with your child on certain topics while being a witness to your bad moments – conflicts, divorce, even doctor’s exams, and regular flu, can cause stress-induced problematic behaviours.
School and pre-schools are the main social life points and the first social interactions outside of family life. The teachers are also a sort of role model for your children, and the interaction and emphasis that the teacher puts on certain rules of this small society will possibly put pressure on your child.
Children have their own world. But that world also has some rules that we eventually witness as adults. You must know someone who remembers a bad behaving peer from pre-school years! Putting it this way, it is easy to see the importance of having friends.
All of the before-mentioned people, situations, and places are staying in your child’s head, whether you want it or not. Adopted behaviour is the set of expectations the child puts on themselves on how to behave and what to achieve in certain situations. Those can go south pretty easily if not handled well.
Situations that they cannot understand (death, move, getting fired, mental issues, major health issues, etc.).
While growing up, your child will become more integrated into different life situations which they won’t always be able to understand. And, while this is completely normal, the cognitive functions do not develop at the pace of emotional intelligence, and the possible trouble of connecting the two lies in good and patient adults surrounding the child.
Stress indicators and coping advice
Frequent or sudden changes in behaviour, sleep patterns, and reactions
The parent has to be able to perceive changes in behaviour quickly and to try slowing down and making activities where the change shows fun. Incorporating family activities and more casual talk with your child will be certain to help them feel safe in their surroundings.
Teeth grinding and anger-related behaviour
Suppressed anger in children is a major cause of problematic behaviour, hard to stop once the emotions hit. Furthermore, keeping these emotions causes some patterned behaviours that can lead to health issues, like bruxism. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is mostly done unaware, and this action can cause deterioration of the teeth, exposing the bone in the tooth, resulting in tooth decay and further complicating your family life. The best solution is to make them talk and be active and productive, while night grinding has the best help from mouth guard for sleeping.
Bedwetting and major anxiety
Even though the first solution may be to use the diaper, this can make the issue greater. An upset child needs attention and time. The attention means the full presence of parents or caregivers, slow introduction to a bedtime routine, and slow but encouraging mornings so your child is done with the day in the peaceful atmosphere and goes to a school filled with positive encouragement.
Fear response to certain situations or places
The child cannot hide fear. Unfortunately, even with the best care, you could give, the situation that causes fear is bound to happen. However, this emotion can be only one of the emotions (and not the dictating one) that your child learns to cope with. Soft praise and encouragement in a safe environment are all your child needs to feel free to talk and express their concerns. It can be a big hug you will give them upon meeting after work, or during playtime in the safety of your home. Talk with them about their day and catch on to their triggers. Upon getting to the scary part you can explain it and make it safe so that your child can accept it and move on with ease.
Changes in academic performance, lies, and bullying
The pressure to be who they see themselves as is huge in children. Not meeting the ‘requirements’ can cause your child to become a stranger. How to solve this? Gentle parenting. No matter their age, open conversation and gentle, but consistent lessons should help your child see the true picture, and ease them into talking, letting go of the problems and, consequently, problematic behaviour. Persistence and attention are key steps to being a parent.