Childhood may seem like a carefree time but coping with school, extracurricular activities and pressures from peers can cause your child to experience overwhelming feelings of stress and frustration.
As a parent you can’t protect your child from stress, but you can help them feel better.
Talk to them.
A child won’t know that they are stressed but you will notice by changes in their behaviour such as moodiness, irritability and eating or sleeping more. Tell them that you notice something is wrong and let them know you are there to listen.
Listen to them.
Always listen calmly and attentively and avoid any urge to blame, lecture or tell them that what they are feeling is wrong.
Limit stress if possible.
Cut back on after-school activities if you find they aren’t coping and talk to their teacher if they are struggling with homework.
Exercise will help loosen the stress your child is feeling. Getting them involved in a weekly sports activity, like football or basketball, will give them an outlet to release any pent up feelings of frustration.
Put them to bed early.
Kids need enough sleep to be able to cope with daily life. If you find they are waking up tired and irritable try putting them to bed ten minutes earlier each night.
Have fun with them.
Spending time together playing, drawing and simply being silly can reinforce your bond, making it easier for them to open up to you.
Set aside time to talk to your child about their day and while they may not want to talk, simply being there can really help.