Stress and Anxiety

Children of all ages can get stressed and anxious. They can feel stressed for many reasons but the most common reasons are parental divorce, exam pressure and being bullied or abused. Be careful what you say, even when you don’t think your child is listening to you. Children overhear parents talking about money worries or problems they are having at work and they start to feel anxious about these things themselves and take on worries beyond their years.

Many children and young people feel under pressure to do things they are not happy about because of peer pressure. This might mean wearing certain clothes or shopping in the right places. On a more serious level, this might mean being absent from school, trying alcohol or drugs, shoplifting or going further with a boyfriend or girlfriend than they feel ready to. Let them know you are there for them and that they can talk to you if they are worried. Mental health issues can affect children. If you have concerns speak out. Contact your child school, and they will be able to help.

Relieving stress

There are lots of ways you can help your child overcome or cope with stress and anxiety:

  • Talk to your child about what is causing their stress.
  • Tell them it is normal to feel stressed now and again.
  • Help them learn to relax and cope better when they’re upset.
  • Do not put extra pressure on your child by expecting too much from them.
  • If their anxiety goes on for longer than a month, let them know you will support them in getting help.

Children in Greater Manchester have access to online qualified counselors at https://www.kooth.com/

Signs of stress

It is important that you know and recognise the signs of stress. This way you can support your child and get extra help if you need to.

Signs can include:

  • Mood swings.
  • Being unable to sleep.
  • Trouble concentrating on schoolwork.
  • Sudden stomach aches or headaches and wanting to stay away from school.
  • Overreacting and being emotional.