Kids, like adults, can feel the different types of stress. Short term stress can actually be beneficial and may motivate a child to study for the big test instead of watching T.V. However, chronic stress is harmful, and in the article below we discuss the causes of stress and methods of stress relief for kids.
Stress over a long period of time can affect and contribute to mental and physical health issues for kids. Stress can cause blood pressure to rise, contribute to obesity, and weaken the immune system. Anxiety and depression are also results of chronic and long-term stress. In a study the year of 2018, researchers found that anxiety and depression rates in 6 to 17 year olds increased from 5.4% to 8.4% over the duration of 6 years.
As adults, parents, and caretakers, let’s do what we can to help kids manage stress and stay away from chronic stress. In the article below, ActivStars dives into the signs to look out for when it comes to stress and how to manage it.
Top Stressors in Children's Lives
Tension in the home is one of the most common sources of stress for kids. Divorce, big life changes like moving or the arrival of a new sibling can all cause stress. Remember, even when the changes are positive, the change can affect your child.
At school your child may experience stressors as well. Making friends, handling bullies, concerns about grades and tests, or even relating to teachers are all examples of stressors at school.
Top Stressors in Adolescents and Teens
As your child grows into the pre teen years and teen years, you may notice that there are more stressors. School will most likely remain as a big stressor along with other relationships with friends or their first romantic relationship. Peer pressure and social issues can affect adolescents and teens as well.
Now, how can you tell if your child is stressed? Below are the common symptoms of stress in kids and young adults.
Symptoms of stress in adolescents can manifest themselves in different ways, including:
Irritability and anger
Oftentimes, children can’t figure out the way to express their feelings, and tension can cause a bad mood, irritability, and sometimes anger.
Changes in behavior
If your child is usually a good listener but appears to be acting out, this can be a sign of stress. Maybe an active adolescent now chooses to stay home. These sudden changes in behavior point to high levels of stress.
If a child or adolescent appears to be more tired than usual but sleeping often or is coming to you, having difficulty falling asleep, these are signs of stress.
While every child makes mistakes, stress may be a factor if an adolescent suddenly drops the ball on homework, forgets and avoids obligations, or begins procrastinating more than usual.
Pay attention to eating patterns, and if your child is eating too much or too little, this could be a reaction to stress.
Getting sick more frequently
Physical symptoms of stress can occur, and children who are stressed frequently often complain of headaches or stomach aches. Visiting the school nurse’s office on a regular basis is a sign of chronic stress and deeper issues.
Stress Relief for Kids: Techniques and Tips
Stress is part of life for both children and adults, so instead of trying to avoid stress completely, consider the below stress relief for kids techniques and tips to help reduce and handle stress in a healthy way.
Talk about it
Simply talking with your child about stressful situations can help relieve the stress, put things into perspective, and find solutions to the issues causing stress.
Stress Relief for Kids - Rest well
Sleep is necessary for everyone to maintain both emotional and physical well-being. For kids ages six to twelve, experts recommend at least nine hours of sleep per night, and some kids may need up to twelve hours of sleep per night. Teenagers require eight to 10 hours of sleep a night, and to keep stressors at bay, sleep must be a priority. We recommend limiting screen time at night and avoiding storing cell phones and other digital devices in the bedroom to protect sleep.
For humans of every age, physical activity is a huge stress reliever. For kids ages six to 17,
U.S. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 60 minutes of physical activity per day, at least.
ActivStars programs are the perfect way to ensure your child is getting the proper amount of exercise and socialization. Our youth programs focus on exercise, positivity, and fun. A program that a child looks forward to, encourages physical activity, and creates community can be a huge stress reliever.
Along with exercising, taking time to spend outside can do wonders for stress. There are so many benefits to spending time outdoors including lower levels of depression, anxiety, stress, and an overall better well-being. Spending time in nature can help you relieve stress and improve your overall well-being.
Make time for fun — and for silence.
Don’t forget to make time for fun and activities your kids enjoy. And, just like adults, every kid is different. Some require more downtime than others. So, spend unstructured time doing fun activities, and also find the happy medium between fun and downtime.
Make a note of it
Research shows that writing and journaling about positive feelings and things you’re grateful for and proud of can significantly reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. So, if your teen is struggling, recommend they write all their feelings out along with positive thoughts as well.
How ActivStars Can Help Stress Relief for Kids
If your child is experiencing stress, first we want to say, this is normal. We hope the above symptoms and stress relief tips can help you recognize the stressors and help your child manage their stress in a healthy, positive way. Our affordable kids programs don’t require a contract and allow your child to start building an active, successful future. Whether they are interested in playing soccer, karate, or cheer, we’re opening the doors to everyone.
Exercise, time outdoors, and community will do wonders for your little one, and we are here to help with stress relief for kids. Become a star today, and find an ActivStars program near you.