School got over, and summer vacation has started. My son was super excited “No more homework” he yelled!.Quick came mommy’s response. Well buddy, guess what, you are going to do your homework at least for 15 minutes during your summer vacation too! Then came a big sigh from my son. Ahhhh.Well, you can have unlimited play time, and in return, all I ask you to do is spend 15 minutes learning something or revising what you have learned. It made sense to him, and so we had a deal! I am a big believer that kids need at least few minutes to revise what they learned. Else guess what ? after two months of their summer vacation, they come back as a clean as a slate!
It was unlimited fun for two months. Before the schools could resume, we had two more weeks, and I remember my son running around the house as if he built an exercise regime for himself. I asked him why he was doing such a thing. “Mom I am 57 pounds” I need to lose weight”, he said. I laughed off saying that he is just fine. But I could not forget the number he told me. It turned out to be a significant number.
Soon schools have started. Few weeks into school we began getting complaints. We started noticing our boy was not paying much attention. He was throwing enormous tantrums for even a small thing. He is an 8-year-old who should be much more composed than a 2-year-old. Bound to pressure from school we started giving him consequences. The consequences only worsened his behavior. Every day there would be something or the other. He would cry for not solving a simple math problem. He would come back from school tired and exhausted.
I started to wonder what could be wrong with him. He is happy to go lucky kind of person, and suddenly I see him behaving differently. He loves his sister and one night he started complaining that she does not like him. It was a massive meltdown. I tried to tell him that she is just two years old and that she loves him very much. Next day he woke up saying I don’t know why I behaved that way last night.
These signs were enough for me to notice that something was wrong. I started wondering what could be wrong? Is it school, or activities. I never overload his schedule with too many classes or events. Then I noticed something. He has put on weight. I asked him to check his weight, and I was surprised. I know that it’s common. Growing kids, they put on weight and height. But this is something unusual to me. He was never a chubby kid. His eating habits never changed. In fact, he is not eating enough.The amount of weight he gained in two months was an alarm for us. I started to think what is going ?why? Then after few days of thinking through, it occurred. Could it be stress? I was not ready to believe it. I quickly pinged my husband, and he expressed the same concern.
My son, who is such a fun and joyful boy, is being stressed out. Is it even possible? All the signs told us Yes!. My husband and I quickly sat down and discussed ways to deal my son’s stress.We started switching simple roles like who would take care of his academics, who would drop him to school. Just to see if small changes would make any difference. We started to spend more time talking to him about how he can handle certain situations by giving him some examples.We almost ruled out stress as a possible factor in my son’s behavior. I don’t want other parents to miss on this critical factor that is impacting kids these days.
How can you tell a child is stressed?
What are the causes of stress in children? It’s not always easy to recognize when kids are stressed out. The following signs may suggest that your child is feeling stressed: Short-term behavioral changes such as
- Mood swings
- physical ailments, such as headaches or stomachaches
- Change in regular sleep and eating habits
- Change in emotions (showing signs of being sad, clingy, withdrawn, or angry)
- Increase in crying or tantrums
- physical ailments, such as headaches or stomachaches
- Frequent reliance on habits such as hair twirling, nose picking or thumb-sucking
- Overreact to minor problems.
- Trouble concentrating or completing schoolwork
These are just a few.
What are the Sources or Reasons for Stress?
Again there may be many depending on a child’s situation. The following might be the sources:
- Separation Anxiety
- Family(Divorce, death, etc.)
- Overwhelming schedules
- World events. Any disturbing events were hapenning in the world.
- School – Academic pressures.
What can you do to Reduce the stress?
- Proper rest and good nutrition
- Make time for your kids each day. You don’t have to talk just be there for them.Make yourself available.
- Spend time with them on fun activities.
- Give examples of specific situations and how you can deal with them
- Together, you can come up with a few solutions. Whether it is reducing the activities or talking to the teacher or friends.
- Prepare Kids for any upcoming stressful situations.
- Reassurance is significant. Tell your child, that you understand and that you are there.
When any change in behavior persists, when stress is causing severe anxiety, or when the behavior causes significant problems at school or home, you need to approach recovery centers. Recovery centers like Palmer lake Recovery can significantly help. You can also make yourself more aware of reading more related blogs. Finally, if you think your kid needs more attention that you are providing, it’s time to seek professional care don’t ignore these signs and don’t delay.
Disclosure: *“I am being compensated for this post.” But all the opinions and views are 100% my own.