Stress and Young Children

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I think we like to visualize childhood as a time that is carefree and innocent. The truth is young children are not always isolated or immune to trauma and day to day stress. Some stress is normal but more and more children impacted by it.

Possible Causes of Stress

  • Abuse
  • Illness
  • Separation
  • Loss
  • Moving
  • Change
  • Holidays(yes positive events can be stressful too)

Possible Signs of Stress

  • Any sudden change of behavior or habits
  • Daydreaming
  • Lack of emotion
  • Sullen or defiant
  • Over-sensitive
  • Change in eating habits
  • Regression
  • Stutters
  • Grinds teeth
  • Nightmares
  • Over demanding/clingy
  • Can not sustain play
  • Aggression

Possible Coping Strategies for Stress

  • Enhance self-esteem
  • Prepare child for change
  • Acknowledge feelings
  • Security objects
  • Model coping skills
  • Use humor
  • Structure environment
  • Physical activity
  • Music
  • Affection

Learn More: Social and Emotional Skills Spell School Success and Readiness