Stress Management Tips for Your Preschooler

Stress is a part of life today for millions of grownup individuals around the world.   Unfortunately, it is increasingly affecting the lives of our children as well. This is why stress management is now an important topic to understand for teachers and parents. Just like adult stress, childhood stress is the result of a number of factors and can be managed effectively by learning about the problem, its causes, and taking steps to help your child feel relaxed.  

Why do Children Get Stressed? 

A typical adult may suffer from stress because of stressors such as noise (resulting from TV, cell phones, computers, and other types of information-emitting devices), traffic, managing work responsibilities, as well as family plans. When it comes to children, it has been observed that kids with higher sensitivity to noise and commotion are more likely to be susceptible to stress triggers. Also, family changes or conflicts, the pressure to succeed, school and after-school activities, and many other factors can lead to anxiety and this is the perfect recipe for childhood stress.   

Signs of Children Suffering from Stress 

Please remember that often times, children are not able to articulate their feelings of anxiety and stress. If a child has gone through major changes such as a new sibling or a move, teachers and parents should watch out for possible signs of childhood stress. Some of the most commonly observed symptoms of childhood stress may include headache, stomach pain, behaviour changes, irregular sleep, mood swings, irritability, lack of concentration, low motivation, decline of academic performance, etc.  

Even if you are not able to identify any particular stress factor, it is possible that your child is experiencing stress resulting from factors you may not be aware of. Fix an appointment with his or her teachers and try to find out whether your child has been interacting normally in the school.  

Help Your Child Handle Stress   

If you are a parent or teacher, talk to the children about how they are feeling, even if they are not able to articulate it properly. Ask questions to find out what makes them worried or things that make them feel bad. Throughout this process, please remember that younger children may not even completely understand the meaning of stress and anxiety.   

Here are a few things teachers and parents can do to help children overcome anxiety and stress.  

  • Encourage the child to discuss any issues he or she may face and share all their feelings honestly. Talking to someone about the problem is one of the most effective ways to deal with stress.  
  • Before expressing your opinion or offering suggestions, be patient and allow the child to express his or her emotions and thoughts completely.  
  • Some children find it more comfortable discussing their problems while they are engaged in an activity. Therefore, before asking them to discuss a problem, consider doing things such as playing a round of basketball, watching a movie, or going for a walk. 
  • Suggest deep breathing exercises and practice yoga together.  

If you want to find out more about managing childhood stress and anxiety, feel free to contact our expert educators at Valley Heights Preschool Long Day Care Centre.