Identifying stress in kids

Published: Dec. 4, 2019 at 10:02 AM CST
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Parents have a lot on their plates. From balancing work, finances and kids, it's easy for the stress to build. However, even though the reasons may not be the same, kids can feel the same way.

Sanford Health Pediatric Doctor, Brandon Meyer, says kids can feel the pressure when it comes to school.

"If there is extra pressure placed on children to perform well academically. If they're feeling stretched in many different areas, such as, they have to study for their 12 AP classes and then we have to go to violin class and then we have football and basketball season and they're overlapping right now, too," says Dr. Meyer.

A child's home environment can also be adding to the problem. Dr. Meyer says, "kids often times pick up on a lot more things than we give them credit for as well, so if parents are stressed out about finances and they're arguing about that and kids over hear, that can definitely cause some stress in the children."

While it is difficult to pin point stress, there are some red flags parents should look out for. The most common being a difference in their behavior.

"The most common thing that I hear is, 'this is not my child. My child's acting differently then what they normally do.' Things like wetting the bed. Temper tantrums can actually be a sign of some underlining stress," says Dr. Meyer.

If these red flags are sounding familiar, Dr. Meyer says the best place to start is providing your child comfort. This may not be forcing them to talk about their issues if they are not ready, but spending quality time with them can help relieve some stress.

Dr. Meyer says parents shouldn't be afraid to ask for extra help. Counseling can be a great option for kids, as it gives them a safe place to talk about what they're going through.

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