10 Tips for Parents to Calm Down a Stressed Child
- Updated on 18 Jul 2021
- Parents Corner
- 4 mins read
Are your child’s tantrums driving you crazy? Do they seem to be distressed or in pain, but you’re not sure why? If so, don’t worry! There are many ways that parents can help their stressed child calm down.
Unless we do not have answers to questions like “What’s the issue?” “What is causing them to be so distressed?” “Why are they not confiding in us?”, we cannot craft a plan that will work.
So, What Is the Stepping Stone?
First, it’s essential to find out why they seem to be in distress. Is it a child’s developmental issue, or is there something else going on that we can fix?
The best way to know for sure is by asking them what makes them feel better when they’re too stressed. It will lead us directly to their coping skills.
What Is the Reason Behind a Stressed Child?
● It could be due to some child’s developmental issues. Kids with developmental issues constantly compare themselves to others and feel inferior because they don’t have the skill set as everyone else seems to have. They also get overwhelmed by too much sensory overload, which can trigger a stress response.
● It could be due to physical violence. Violence stresses kids and makes them incredibly timid with people to ensure they don’t get hurt again. Watch out for any signs, as this could help in handling kids better.
● A stressed child can be experiencing a lot of anxiety. The anxiety can be due to various reasons, such as moving to another school or a new home. The child may constantly be worrying about what will happen next and feel helpless to control the outcome.
● Child psychology is directly related to parents’ emotional well-being and can severely impact children’s development. For example, a child experiencing trauma can smile constantly, but they may be terribly scared inside due to what’s happening at home between the parents.
● Childhood trauma- these children may act out in anger, throw tantrums or withdraw from society as a way for them to cope with difficult memories such as abuse, death of a loved one, etc.
● Stress could also be related to their schoolwork- a child might constantly be stressed due to assignments and losing sleep and appetite.
● Anxious children can feel stressed in social situations. For example, a family gathering (worries about what will happen) or getting bullied at school (may have nightmares). They cannot recognize the difference between when a situation is friendly or unfriendly and dangerous.
What Is the Role of Family and Friends in Helping a Stressed Child?
Family and friends have a vital role to play when it comes to a stressed child. A child may be experiencing anxiety but be unable to articulate it, so it’s the job of those around them to notice what is going on.
If stress and anxiety are not appropriately addressed in time, it can lead to more severe cases of child anxiety. Parents and other adults in the child’s life should be mindful to recognize when they might need professional help for their stressed child, like counselling for children.
10 Ways in Which Parents Can Help Their Children While They Are Stressed.
1. A child’s behaviour can tell you a lot. Focus on the child’s feelings and what is going through their mind. Parents should try to get into a child’s shoes to understand how they are feeling, as this can help them determine what might be causing it.
2. Arrange an activity that will distract them from whatever is stressing them. It is a great way to initiate child care and help them release their energy in a healthy way.
3. Identify the child’s stressors and help them to avoid them as much as possible. It can be difficult for many parents, but if the child is constantly running away from their responsibilities, there might be something wrong.
4. Validate a stressed child’s feelings and help them understand that what they are feeling is normal, giving a child the strength necessary to manage their stressors.
5. Provide children with opportunities for growth by offering them constructive feedback about themselves from time to time instead of always telling them that they are good.
6. Make the child feel safe and loved by parents, family members, teachers or other adults they can trust with those feelings in their life. It will help decrease the child’s stress levels dramatically.
7. Give the child a sense of purpose so that they know what is expected from them when it comes to taking care of themselves.
8. Provide the child with control in their life by letting them know what they can do alone. It can start with simple tasks such as brushing teeth and then gradually giving them more responsibilities until they can do most of them.
9. Praise the child for taking care of themselves and their responsibilities. It will make them feel accomplished and will help get rid of any stress.
10. Do not equate success with how well they do academically or in sports.
The key to helping a stressed child is understanding what they need and providing it to them.
You can help your children in many ways, but the most important thing you can do is provide them with love and support. If a stressed child is not feeling loved or supported by their parents, they can become anxious and closed off. Being constantly stressed can lead to various chronic issues like anxiety.
It’s also worth noting that sometimes stress comes from within themselves when the “fight-or-flight” response gets triggered before we even know about it because of our body’s natural defences against danger; this happens without us consciously aware of it happening!
So be patient with your kids as well as yourself during these times, and remember that there are things out there to help them calm down and relax.
How to help kids understand child emotions