3 Causes And Symptoms Of Stress In Children: Stress In Your Little Ones

3 Causes And Symptoms Of Stress In Children: Stress In Your Little Ones

Children are wonderful people, and more importantly, they are our future generation. They are who we teach what our parents taught us; they are who will continue the human race and its legacy on Earth. Unfortunately, they will sadly encounter what we frequently encounter in our daily lives; failure, misfortune, and the pressures of daily life will naturally make them feel stressed.

Stress in children can arise from anything, but the most likely place to cause kids’ stress to manifest is school. While school is very important for a child, as it is their education and a far more advanced form of learning than their simple first steps, it can give a child their first proper taste of stress and pressure.

Furthermore, just like an adult, a child will show symptoms and signs of stress while either at school, or back at home from school. Then, it will be up to the parent or carer to find out why they are stressed and hopefully help the child to overcome it, or deal with the problem if it is more than just because of “hard work”.

This list will go through both the signs and symptoms of stress in children, and what the most common causes of their stress to manifest are, and what you can do to help them depending on their situation.


Cause 1 – School


To start, we are going to go into further detail about school being one of the main causes of stress in children. Beforehand, the only challenging and pressurising thing a child would have gone through before school would be learning to walk, learning to use a toilet, and enduring proper food for the very first time, like lemons! (babies and children experiencing the super sour taste of lemons for the first time and watching their reactions are both hilarious and adorable)

Unfortunately, children aren’t prepared for the challenging work that school will give to them, especially since they were so used to being taught by their parents beforehand. New people, subjects they haven’t taken on before (a baby and toddler are usually taught the complexity of maths or English), and homework at the end of each day are new challenges for them, and naturally new challenges bring about stress.

The best thing a parent can do in this situation is to prepare their child for the kind of work they will be doing at school; this will not only prevent their child from being as stressed as they could have been, but it will also get them to tackle the challenges school will bring to them more efficiently.


Symptom 1 – Changes In Eating


A child with a loss of appetite, or who prefers a specific kind of food in a manner that seems very unusual for them, is a sign of a child with some problems going on in their life.

Stress can add a lot of pressure to a child; one other symptom of stress is to make a person not love something as much as they used to as they are too busy trying to cope with the overload of pressure. The same can happen with food, meaning that if a child is under stress, one probable sign will be the fact that the child will not be able to eat the things they used to love.

If you notice your child not eating the food they used to love, or flat out refuse to eat anything at all, talk to them and help them to overcome any problems they may have.


Cause 2 – Death Of A Loved One


The death of a loved one is a sensitive subject, and unfortunately is a part of life, but if a child hasn’t had any experience of death yet, and their favourite pet or a close family member sadly passes away, they can become very distressed and upset by this new and unfortunate thing.

It can be worse if the child was very close to the person that died; for example, the death of their grandparent who they used to always sleep over at their house every weekend or so will be far more distressing than the death of a pet.

The best thing a parent can do to prevent their child from being even more distressed from the death of a loved one is to essentially educate them on death and make them understand that is it life’s biggest absolution; everyone will die one day and that includes the ones they love the most.

Doing this will ultimately make them prepared for the unthinkable, and any stress they experience after the death won’t be as intense.


Symptom 2 – Emotions (angry, sad all the time)


Emotions can play a huge part when it comes to diagnosing a severe case of stress, and as you would have imagined children express this symptom as well as adults.

When a child is under stress, they can go through unpredictable mood swings; these certain mood swings always end up with the child being either angry or sad.

For example, your child might be happy one minute, then when you ask them about a particular subject, like school or friends, their mood immediately changes into that of an angry and sometimes aggressive one. Ultimately, this means that there lies a problem with either school or the child’s friends, and that may be a root cause for any stress they may be under.

Of course, this won’t always mean that what your child is facing is stress; it could very well be the fact that they just don’t like school or that they don’t like a particular person who is hanging around with their best friend(s). Essentially, however, you can’t rule stress out as it can be very common for children.

If you feel that your child goes through emotional changes too often and too suddenly, talk to them and see what their problem is; it may be nothing, but support them anyway as children always look up to their parents, and will be wanting your support 24/7.


Cause 3 – Divorce


Perhaps as touchy of a subject as talking about the death of a loved one, divorces for the most part are horrible and something couples don’t really want to go through, but depending on the circumstances feel that it is the right thing to do. Unfortunately, children won’t think so, and will most definitely get upset and stressed out if they find out their parents suddenly don’t love each other anymore and are probably going to be separated forever.

Most children won’t understand the problems the couple may be going through, and will become very confused and upset when they find out their parents are moving away from each other, further increasing the chance of feeling stressed out because of it.

If you are going through with an unfortunate (or long time coming) divorce and your children don’t know about it, it would be best to tell them about the upcoming events in a calm manner and tell them why you are separating from each other.

Divorce is a horrible thing to do, but if you are straightforward to your kid(s) about it, they may be less upset and stressed when the big day finally arrives.



Symptom 3 – Discomfort/Pain (headaches)


Stress will include a symptom of tense muscles and a general feeling of uncomfortableness; unfortunately, children can encounter this symptom just as aggressively as adults can when they are under stress, though this varies from person to person.

As stress ultimately causes the muscles to tense up and ache, a stressed child will no doubt have the frequent headache pop up from time to time.

If your child complains about frequent aches and pains, they might be feeling stressed about something in their life; try to talk to them and find out if there is a problem with them while giving them medicine for the pain.

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