Tips to Help Your Child Decrease Stress and Anxiety
There are many reasons a child can experience stress or anxiety. A sudden change in the family dynamic due to divorce or the loss of a loved one is one example. The pressure of adapting to a new learning environment is another.
Each child displays and handles stress differently. As a parent, it may be difficult to identify when your child is feeling stressed or anxious, especially if your child hides emotions well.
Here are six telltale signs that you can look for before offering a helping hand.
6 Telltale Signs of an Anxious Child
These six symptoms could relate to numerous health conditions. However, trying to find out whether they are caused by anxiety is a good place to start.
The six telltale signs of anxiety in children include:
- Isn’t sleeping well and/or is waking up in the middle of the night with bad dreams
- Constantly complaining about stomach aches and feeling unwell
- Being tense and fidgety
- Isn’t eating properly
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Constantly worrying and having negative thoughts
5 Tips for Helping Your Child Deal With Stress and Anxiety
1. Don’t overwhelm your child with too many activities.
A schedule is important for helping your child stay focused. Additionally, participating in extracurricular activities helps your child become a well-rounded individual.
However, overscheduling can become overwhelming for your child. Kids need time to rest and rejuvenate. Granted, they may not even realize this because they too understand the need to be highly involved.
You should observe your child’s behavior patterns and grades to determine if it’s time to drop something from the schedule. Constantly pressing the “go” button adds unwanted stress that can trigger a child’s anxiety.
2. Talk to your child.
Have regular conversations with your child in a non-judgmental way. Give your child the opportunity to express how he or she is feeling. Explain the concept of anxiety to your child by describing what it is and what it does to the body.
Your child also should develop the ability to listen to what his or her body is saying. Too many headaches, for instance, maybe a sign of too much stress and a signal that your child should try one or more of these coping mechanisms:
- Breathing exercises
- Physical activity
- Doing something fun
- Taking a nap
- Talking to someone
3. Ensure that your child gets enough sleep.
The Sleep Foundation states that teens need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep. If you want to make this happen, there are some rules that you’ll need to enforce which your child may not like.
You may need to take the electronics (TV, tablet, phone) out of your child’s room each night to limit distractions. This means having a frank discussion about the importance of sleep and coming to an agreement with your child about the use of electronic devices.
4. Help your child reframe failure.
Failure is stressful for most people. Your child is no different. Although you may grapple with managing failure yourself, it’s important for you to teach your child how to view failure differently.
Your child needs to understand that failure is a part of the learning process. Of course, you want your child to do well, but a hiccup along the way doesn’t mean that your child is doomed for eternity. Life isn’t about being perfect.
5. Hire an online tutor.
Some of your child’s anxiety and stress may be the result of consistently not performing well in an academic subject. Maybe your child just doesn’t understand the content because of the way it’s being taught. Maybe your child needs one-on-one support.
The Tutors-On-Call team has highly experienced tutors from across Canada who can help your child master math, English, general science, chemistry, biology, physics, social studies or French. Schedule a call with us today to find out how we can set up a personalized online tutoring plan to meet your child’s needs.
It’s normal to feel anxious and stressed during times of unexpected change. However, it isn’t okay for your child’s anxiety and stress to go unchecked. Pay attention to your child’s behavior and talk with your child about how he or she is feeling. These actions will help you better pinpoint the root cause of your child’s anxiety and what you can do to help.
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