Think of childhood and a carefree, tension free, innocent and joyful life comes into picture. Purity, simplicity, joy, happiness, playfulness and innocence are some of the feelings attached to the idea of childhood. Nobody can ever imagine this innocence to be ripped apart by stress and agony. But, not any more though! With the world getting competitive, children also suffer from stressful situations and nervous tension. Ever-increasing homework, class tests and the need to excel in every paper act as an impending burden on the tots every single day. Add to this, the necessity of participating in extra curricular activities and at the end of the day, you have a child who is no more the innocent and carefree lad you once thought him/her to be. Children experience stress in a variety of ways. While some get overtired, there are others who experience changing behavior and sleep patterns, yet others get isolated and have mood swings. In the following lines, we have dealt in detail with the signs and symptoms of stress faced by children.
Stress Symptoms In Children
Stress In Infants
Remember, young ones cannot even express their feelings properly to their parents. It is for the parents to understand from the behavior of their tots whether they have any problem or not.
- Infants and preschoolers demonstrate stress by clinging on to their parents, crying more often and never leaving their parents to part from them.
- Another way in which you can identify toddlers undergoing stress is when they become fussy and start throwing emotional tantrums.
- Infants suffering from stress will even display regressive behaviors like thumb sucking, bedwetting, fear from darkness and other such general fears.
- Infants suffering from stress tend to get more prone to toilet accidents. You can even see them biting their nails intensively.
- Infants undergoing some sort of stress can show frustration when learning something new like learning to stand, learning to walk, to talk and might show disinterest in other developmental and learning stages.
- Other symptoms of this age stress can be accident proneness and fear to sudden and loud noise. This response is a clear sign of stress in an infant.
Stress In 6-11 Yr Olds
School going children can verbalize their problems and feelings. However, whether they speak it out or not, their actions will be a clear display of their mental state of mind.
- Most of the children who undergo stress often complain of stomach aches and headaches. These are the most common symptoms to identify a child suffering from stress.
- Another symptom can be complaints of respiratory tract illness. Due to stress, it becomes difficult for the children to feel free, while breathing.
- Children suffering with stress can show it by biting their nails intensively, and continuously picking their nose. They might even grind their teeth, especially in their sleep.
- Other signs of a child suffering from stress can be their low appetite, sleep disorders, loss of immunity, etc. These health issues start surrounding a child suffering from stress.
- Stress can also make a child show all their negative behaviors, such as telling lies, bullying other children, defying authority, getting angry and aggressive in their behavior, becoming irritable and engaging in disputes and quarrels. They can even become deviants and ignore to follow set norms of discipline and conduct.
- Losing interest in studies, not willing to go to school, getting fewer marks regularly and not taking part in any school activities are other signs of stress in children who gradually loose concentration and interest in whatever they do.
Stress In Teenagers
A teenager’s life is more complicated and hence they tend to get more stressed than the other age groups. Studies, friends, parents, they have a lot of things to handle which might stress them down.
- Stressed teenagers tend to get moody and start withdrawing themselves from their parents, as they feel it embarrassing to share their problems.
- Teenagers suffering from stress find it difficult to express clearly their feelings and emotions.
- Biting nails, sucking their thumb, getting aggressive, quarreling, etc. are other common signs of stress in grown up kids.
- They might experience loss of self confidence, lack of interest in whatever they do. They might also constantly dip towards negative thoughts and feelings.
- Kids suffering from stress might even face anxiety, develop new fears and worries. They might find it difficult to mingle and speak to people, losing their social skills gradually.
- They might even resort to drugs, alcohol and other bad habits to cover up and come out of stress.