This post about how stress affects kids is sponsored by Stress Health, an initiative of the Center for Youth Wellness, but all awesomeness is my own.
There are SO many posts about how stress affects your body, but what about how stress affects kids. Parents and adults don’t have corner the market on stress!
When I was a kid, I was a total stress wad. You can ask my parents. They’d have more than a few dozen stories to share.
I was that special butterfly of a kid. I would get stress headaches in school and have to go home because they hurt so bad.
As soon as I’d leave school, my stress levels would drop and my headaches would go away. (For those of you wondering, no I wasn’t faking it. I wish I was)
Some of my earliest memories in life were of stress and anxiety. That’s just how I was wired as a kid.
That was back in the 80s and 90s, way before we were constantly connected to everything in the world. Now just imagine how much input and stress our kids are exposed during the age of the Internet.
How Stress Affects Kids: How to Spot the Warning Signs.
As parents, we all want to know if our kids are stressed and how to learn the symptoms of toxic stress in our kids.
According to Stress Health, here are some signs and symptoms to watch out for:
- Sleep Issues
- Frequent Headaches (see I wasn’t making that one up)
- Tummy Aches
- Crying More Than Usual
- Becoming Extra Clinging
- Bed Wetting or Baby Talk
- Developing New Fears
If you have teens, make sure to check out the toxic stress symptoms in teens too. Teens have very similar warning signs, but do to their age they have a few extra goodies that you should be aware of.
Being aware of the signs of stress in your kids is the first step in helping the learn how to cope with stress. If you know what to watch out for, you’re more likely to be able to spot stress in your kids.
How To Help Your Kids with Stress
Now that you’ve checked out a few ways how stress affects kids, let’s get our little ones back to their awesome selves!
That’s our job as parents: see the warning signs of stress and help them cope. (Psstt….. that does NOT mean doing it for them.)
Stress Health has some great family stress resources to help you teach your kids how to cope with life a little bit better.
When I was a kid, I was a CRYER. Heck, I still am. Rather than being told it was ok to cry, I grew up thinking there was something wrong with me because I was easy to tear.
Now that I’m a parent, I’ve promised myself I’d tell my kids that it’s not only ok to cry, but it’s ok to have feelings and be overwhelmed.
This great infographic has some tips on helping your kids deal with stress, and raising kids that know it’s ok to cry.
Knowing that it’s ok to express emotions and seeing YOU express emotions in a healthy manner will really help your kids realize it’s ok to deal with stress with tears and emotions.
Establishing Sleep Routines Help Stress
Another thing that I’ve learned is that setting up sleep routines is an amazing way to help kids cope with stress.
When my youngest child had to go to National Jewish Hospital, it surprised me how much they emphasized how important sleep was for kids.
Sure, we “know” sleep is important, but lack of sleep or poor sleep routines not only makes it hard for kids to cope with stress, it also affect their health.
I got a first hand experience with this when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 2 years ago. If my sleep routines get thrown off, my health the next day definitely suffers.
Just imagine being a child that doesn’t know how to deal with stress. It’s confusing and stressful. I’d be throwing temper tantrums too at that age if I wasn’t sleeping well.
This great inforgraphic gives some information how to establish good sleep routines and how they can help your kids deal with stress.
How Stress Affects Kids: Takeaways and Resources
We all “know” we live in a fast paced world. With overpacked schedules, and digital access to almost everything, it’s hard to learn how to deal with stress.
Stress Health has some really amazing resources to not only help you learn how to spot stress in your kids, but how you can help kids manage stress.
You guys know that I’m all about how to relieve stress (even when you are crazy busy). Sure it’s great to whittle down your schedule, but the first steps to cope with stress is to spot the warning signs.
The next thing is to find great resources, like this blog and Stress Health, to teach you how to cope with stress and how to teach your kids to cope with stress too!
If you are really stressed out, make sure to check out these other posts on stress on the blog:
- 3 Easy Tips to Less Stress in Your Life
- 3 Easy Tips to Stress Less During the Holidays
- How to Relieve Stress When Your Are Busy AF