FOX19 - Stress can affect anyone who feels overwhelmed, including kids. Here are some signs for parents to look out for.
1. Changes in sleep. Is your child having trouble falling asleep? Are they sleeping longer or shorter than usual? These could be signs they are showing signs of stress.
2. Has their diet changed? Are they eating more or less than usual?
3. Are they having trouble concentration? Concentration issues can show you they are taking on too much and they need to slow down.
4. Has the performance at school or athletics suffered? If your straight A student gets a D on a test they may have too much on their plate. Also look at their performance on the playing field. If they are making mistakes they normally don't make while playing a game it may be stress.
5. Also make sure you look at their emotions. Are the irritable? Are they having issues managing appropriate emotions. (i.e. laughing when they should be crying) Anxiety or depression can emerge when stress is poorly managed
6. Are they having accidents at bedtime? Have they starting needing diapers again after they are potty trained? This could be too much stress.
7. There are some physical symptoms. If you child starts complaining of headaches or stomachaches regularly it may be a sign they are doing too much.
Now that you know the signs, what do you do? Experts say you can start by just talking to your child and really listen to what they have to say. Kids may often express how overwhelmed they are with words like "angry" or "annoyed" or speak negativity about themselves. Parents should keep an ear out for the key words or phrases that may indicate a source of stress.
You can try to give them a break from activates to see if they problem cures itself. Sometimes kids need a mental health day just like adults. But parents should know that tacking stress in their child's life isn't something they have to do alone. Licensed therapists can provide the support and guidance their child needs.