Stress is common and impacts all of us at some point in our lives. Below is some information from the National Association of School Psychologists.
Causes of Stress
• At School. Stress can come from an unstructured classroom, unclear or unreasonable expectations, or fear of failure.
• At Home. Stress can occur through a lack of family routines, overscheduling, prolonged or serious illness, poor nutrition, change in the family situation, financial problems, family strife or abuse, or unclear or unreasonable expectations.
• Peer-related. Stress can be a result of changing school buildings, having to deal with a bully, trying to fit in with the crowd, or moving to a new community.
Symptoms of Stress
• Irritability or unusual emotionality or volatility.
• Sleep difficulty or nightmares.
• Inability to concentrate.
• Drop in grades or other functioning.
• Toileting or eating concerns.
• Headaches or stomachaches.
• Unexplained fears or increased anxiety (that also can take the form of clinging).
• Isolation from family activities or peer relationships.
• Drug or alcohol experimentation.
How Parents Can Help
• Be aware of your child’s behaviors and emotions.
• Build trust with your child.
• Be available and open to talk when your child is ready. If family circumstances are contributing to the stress, be willing to answer questions honestly and calmly.
• Encourage the expression of feelings.
• Teach and model good emotional responses.
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Read my Psychology Today blog
Read my blog post on stress
-Practical Strategies to Cope with Stress
-5 Tips for Helping Teens Cope with Stress
National Association of School Psychologists. Stress in Children and Teens: Tips for Parents. Retrieved from http://www.nasponline.org/families/stress08.pdf
Follow Dr. Turner on twitter @DrEarlTurner
Dr. Turner is a licensed psychologist with expertise in behavioral pediatrics, child mental health, disruptive behavior disorders, and minority mental health. He is also certified as a National Register Health Service Psychologist.