Due to their age and maturity, children have not developed effective coping mechanisms to deal with stress. Due to the amount of time that teachers are with a child, they may be more aware of stress in a child’s life than their parents. Parents and teachers alike need to address the behavioural and emotional problems, while also helping the child develop effective and healthy coping mechanisms.
What may cause stress in a child’s life?
There may be many factors: relocation, a new baby, starting/changing kindergarten/school, parent arguments and family troubles, divorce, lack of parental concern or involvement etc…
How to identify stress in children?
Notice when things are not “normal” – behaviour does not follow the usual pattern.
When you see symptoms, ask yourself “What may be causing this?”
Then you can analyse the child’s life to see if there have been recent changes or important events that may explain the different behaviour.
Assess your own stress level – and that of your family – could there be a link?
How can we help our child?
1. Assess your own stress level
2. Display openly unconditional love to your child and speak freely about feelings and emotions
3. Talk to your child about the problem
4. Spend time with your child – sometimes the relationship improves for the better – simply because you’re together with your child
5. Address unresolved stress. Try to get to the root cause of the problem – and then find ways to improve it!