Stress and anxiety in children and teenagers are just as prevalent as in adults. Stressed out and negligent parents, high expectations in academic or other performances, abused or deprived childhood, growing up tensions and demand for familial responsibility are the main causes of childhood and teen stress. Parents, who are not emotionally available for their children or lack positive coping mechanisms themselves, often spur stress in their offspring.
Stressed children show signs of emotional disabilities, aggressive behavior, shyness, social phobia and often lack interest in otherwise enjoyable activities. Research tells us that children, who are forced to live on prematurely adult levels, sometimes become oppositional to following the parents` rules (or those of society). Such children tend to respond to stressors with aggression and indignation.
Many teenagers tend to become nonconformists and fall prey to teenage depression in response to a variety of growing up anxieties. However, stress induced fears and anxiety in children adversely affect children`s performances at various levels.
`Points to Follow` for Both Children and Parents:
• Talk with your child. Find out what`s happening in his life. Be honest and open with him. He should talk about his problems or write them down. Teach him to transfer coping strategies to other situations.
• Don`t burden them with your problems. But, tell children about the family`s goals and discuss difficulties in a friendly manner.
•Compliment children when they do well, and don`t forget hugs and kisses.
•Use humor to buffer bad feelings and situations. A child who learns to use humor himself will be better able to keep things in perspective.
•Don`t overload your child with too many after-school activities and responsibilities. Let children learn to pace themselves. Don`t enroll them in every class that comes along, and don`t expect them to be first in everything.
• Set a good example. Demonstrate self-control and coping skills. He can benefit by seeing how you cope successfully with stress.
• Get friends` or professional help when problems seem beyond your skills.
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