Stress Management in Children-Series 2
Let us answer why this was important? Stress in general is a state which hampers our daily functioning. This might be minute or major depending upon the trauma and the importance of the stimuli which has triggered stress or the environmental situation that acts as a precipitating factor. A lot of times, you may not see its direct symptoms–this is not to say that stress is missing.
While thats the negative, there is also a concept known as ‘EU Stress‘–that a little bit of stress helps in increasing the performance (be it in sports, examination, a social situation etc.) But when its persistent and starts interfering with our psychological well being (whether we realize it or not), that is when it starts leading to a state which we all know as ‘burnout’ i.e. all our resources–both physical and psychological have depleted in trying to cope with stress.
In children, you may see symptoms such as stomach ache, headache, lack of concentration, distraction, irritability, mood changes or any other non-regular psychological or physiological changes.
Once you have identified the important stressors for your child, you have to start working towards developing a healthy coping mechanism/strategy. Each child is different, will show different signs, will react differently to different situations and stressors in a given environment.
Spend time with your child and develop this mechanism. For example, if it is always about winning in sports or competitions or getting straight A grades? Then your answer lies in re-visit your parenting style. Are you emphasizing too much on competing? Do you only reward when you child wins and react negatively at losing? Is your child constantly worried about the consequences if she/he is not able to win?
Stress management is really not that difficult or scary if planned properly. An early learning in stress management in children, helps them define and develop their own coping mechanisms. This in turn, leads to effective management and coping with stressors and identifying precipitating factors in adulthood. Start early, even if it is a small situation (which by the way might be big for your child!), for effective personality development.