Your child experiences stress, just like you do. They have homework, friends, social scenarios, academic expectations, all on top of developing their personalities and learning who they are. We aren’t born with a manual explaining appropriate coping mechanisms for when we feel overwhelmed. That’s where you come in! Have you taught your children how to manage their stressors in a healthy way?
Recognize the signs
Have you noticed any changes in your kid’s behavior? Are they becoming more irritable, short-tempered, or argumentative? Is your little socialite now making excuses not to leave the house? Often, shifts in personality are easily explained away. Maybe your ten-year-old just isn’t hungry lately. Maybe your teenager lost interest in their extracurriculars. However, changes in temperament can be an indicator that your child needs help.
Some things to look out for:
- Loss in appetite or overeating.
- Irritability or excessive anger.
- Neglecting responsibilities.
- Getting nauseous or sick more often.
- Trouble sleeping or concentrating.
Start a conversation
While we all do our best to model appropriate behavior, we’re human. The best method of teaching your kids to take charge of their mental health is to start an open dialogue. That way, not only will you provide them with the correct tools, but you’ll allow them a safe space to approach you if they have questions later on.
Find the source
As we take on responsibilities, our stress levels naturally increase. Your toddler was once only concerned about when their next meal was and where their favorite toy is. Suddenly they have homework, a friend group, personal expectations, and even a body image. They may be worried about high school, getting into college, the way their body is developing, and what their friends are saying about them. When you approach your child about feeling overwhelmed, help them find the source and then create a plan to help.
Everyone needs coping mechanisms for daily stressors. There are many different strategies you can teach your child to implement as they begin to feel overwhelmed. They can journal, practice grounding techniques and learn to manage their time. In next week’s blog, we will discuss, in-depth, a variety of different tools your child can work into their routine.
If you would like to speak with someone about the struggles of parenthood or would like to find a counselor for your child, give Tx Harmony Counseling a call at (832) 352-1600 or contact us here.