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Mental Stress And Your Child

It is hard to think how kids can be bothered by mental stress. With their innocence and the carefree attitude they are known for, seeing them troubled by disappointment, frustration, or even depression are scenarios so remote from their image, that often, parents tend to overlook the possibilities that might occur should these matters be neglected. Even if mentally burdening problems are common to adults, this does not mean that kids are spared. They too have their own concerns, and are just as mentally stressed out as their parents when problems or unfavorable circumstances arise.

What kids have to say

The most common causes of mental stress for kids are the following: grades, school, homework, family, friends, peers, gossip, and teasing. Coping with them varies greatly, depending on the child's personality. Majority of kids let off steam by playing or doing fun activities. Others, however, find it better to talk it out with someone they can trust like a friend or parent. And then again, there are those who vent their emotions or divert their attentions by eating, watching TV, or just listening to music.

Although having kids react violently to mental stress is the farthest thought from most parents' minds, survey has shown that 25% of children have confessed to hurting themselves (hitting, biting, banging their heads on walls, etc.) when confronted by anger or frustration. Such reactions are common among children who are easily overwhelmed by their emotions. At times, they may even blame themselves for whatever part they played in the cause of their problem, making themselves feel bitter, ashamed, and angry at themselves. This explains why they resort to hurting themselves as a means of releasing their stress while blaming themselves at the same time.

Even if talking to their parents is among the least common methods of how kids deal with their mental stress, 75% of children have confessed that they still want their parents to be by their side whenever they are troubled. Accordingly, they find it comforting when their parents do any of the following: talk to them, spend time with them, help resolve their problems, or just try to cheer them up.

Making your presence felt

When your child is dealing with mental stress concerning emotions like frustration or disappointment, there are times when all he needs is just a sounding board—someone who would hear him out without being judged. Play it by ear and assess how to best help him with his situation. Focusing too much or fussing over his problems could only complicate matters for both of you.

Not all kids deal with their emotions in the same way. Some kids are not inclined to talking when they are bothered, whereas others tend to be more expressive. Regardless of how your kid's personality figure out in such circumstances, the most important thing is to make your presence felt by staying by his side as he goes through the motions of his feelings.

Words are not always necessary. Spending time with him by doing activities like walking in the park or making something creative or doing enjoyable activities together are enough to give him that sense of security and assurance of being cared for, understood, and loved.

Hard as it is for you to see him bothered or hurt, resist the urge to fix up his problem for him. To help him develop into an emotionally resilient person by becoming a good problem-solver, you have to let him work out his feelings on his own. And as his parent, the best way you can help him is by letting him know that you will always be his pillar of strength, ever ready to give him the support he needs during troubled times.

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