What is the problem about?
Children nowadays are as much more
exposed to stress as compared to their parents in their own
times. Occasional stress is normal. It is something everyone
has to deal with and it helps children develop coping skills
if they learn to manage it early on in life. Stress becomes
a problem when it prevents children’s daily activities and
when the effects become more or less permanent.
Factors such as callow parenting skills and high
expectations from parents and teachers lead to a situation
where children find it difficult to cope with their daily
They thus begin to lead an abnormal life, prone to
stress-induced symptoms such as temporary depression,
helplessness, knotting of the stomach, tension, anger, and
so forth. This may further contribute to adverse
manifestations which include anxiety, tension, helplessness,
depression, phobia, mood swings, anger, and even, repeated
Signs/symptoms to look for
- First stage of stress symptoms include increased
breathing rate and a racing heart.
- Second is the resistance stage when the body attempts
to slow down but is unable to stabilise. This prevents the
body to relax adequately and results in difficulty in
- The third stage includes feelings of exhaustion and
- Physical symptoms include headaches, nausea, sweaty
palms, heart palpitations, dizziness, stomachaches,
diarrhoea, bedwetting/soiling, etc.
- Behavioural changes include daydreaming, nervousness,
poor concentration, pulling of hair, biting fingernails,
compulsivity, sleeping disorders, nightmares, ear tugging,
fighting, cruelty to animals and/or peers, suicidal
- Emotional changes seen in stressed out children are
sadness, worry, fear, confusion, depression, anxiety,
irritability, anger, withdrawal from usual activities,
Factors causing stress among children can
have their roots at home, school, among their friends or in
the environment they are living in.
Some of the reasons for stress among children caused by the
environment at home are relationship with parents,
relationship between parents, arrival of a new sibling,
sibling rivalry, unemployment of parents, chronic illness of
the children or any of their parents, death of a relative or
Children have many reasons to feel stressed at school too.
Going to a new school, changing schools frequently,
relationship with teachers, difficulties in fitting in with
peers, homework worries, fear of tests, competition, failing
There are also other reasons for stress among children owing
to peers and environment such as peer pressure, relationship
with the opposite sex, pressure to excel in
sports/extracurricular activities, television, current
events, neighbourhood situations, gangs, violence, strikes,
natural calamities, etc.
Parents can make a huge difference to the
lives of their children by helping them cope with annoying
situations successfully. The first step for parents is to be
aware of possible factors causing stress and to recognise
the signs of stress.
Do not burden them with your problems. Instead, talk to
children about the family's goals and discuss difficulties
or problems in a friendly manner. When you are under extra
stress, be sure that you are not passing it on to your
children. Set a good example by demonstrating self-control
and coping skills yourself. Children can benefit by seeing
how you cope successfully with stress.
Do not overburden your children with too many after-school
activities and responsibilities. Let children learn to pace
themselves and choose what they are really interested in.
Have reasonable expectations and set manageable goals in
academic and extracurricular fields. Do not enroll them in
every class that comes along, and do not expect them to be
first in everything.
You can help ease stress from your children’s life by paying
personal attention to their problems. Talk to your children
and listen to what they have to say. Find out what is
happening in their life and take an active interest in it.
Be sensitive to changes in your children's behaviour and
respond to them appropriately.
Parents can teach children some stress management techniques
such as expressing their inner emotions by drawing with
crayons in stressful situations. This will help children
handle stress now and in future as well.
Giving a hug to your children to smooth out a stressful
situation is an excellent way to reassure your commitment to
them. Compliment children when they do well. Use humour to
buffer bad feelings and situations. Children who learn to
use humour themselves will be better able to keep things in
Teach children to take deep breaths during crunch
situations, which will help them to relax. Ask them to focus
on what is going on at that moment. Taking deep breaths
provides more oxygen to the body, eases tension and allows
the body to relax.
Parents should take a break from their regular routine
occasionally and take children out for a walk. Include
physical activities such as practising yoga, playing soccer
or cricket, riding on cycles or bikes, etc to help them
invigourate and freshen themselves. Exercise is a great
Encourage relationships with extended family members,
friends and helpful neighbours. Just knowing that there is
someone else to turn to or share feelings with can be
reassuring for children. Spending quality time together or
having a few good laughs together goes a long way in
reducing stress and in building solid family relationships.
In case, you have tried all the above suggestions and still
have questions on lack of confidence in your children, you
can get a practical solution from Jiva. Jiva makes use of
the know-how of its expert educationists and the wisdom of
Ayurveda to provide you consultation for these kinds of
problems. Please feel free to contact Jiva at 0129-4088152
or write to us at
email@example.com. We will try our best to give a
solution to your child’s problem with our expertise.