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How to recognize stress in your child



Seems an easy task, but identifying risk in the young is tricky

How to recognize stress in your child


In stressful times like these, it’s easier than ever to be distracted from your child’s mental health. Learn what to look for that indicates that your child may be having programs.

Maybe you thought the stress of 2020 would lessen as we near the holiday season? Sadly, no. Few would disagree there’s actually been a recent upping of anxiety, with a contentious, unprecedentedly strange, unpredictable, and protracted election on top of rising Covid-19 numbers, all when kids have recently returned to school, which is wildly different than it ever has been. And that’s just for starters. As parents, we inevitably ask: how is the insanity affecting my kids and what can I do about it?

READ MORE: Ways to support your kids emotionally in the pandemic

Let us direct you to New York Times reporter Christina Caron’s well-timed recent article advising parents on how, exactly, to head off stress in kids before it gets to a crisis stage and how to deal with it if and when it gets there anyway.

Caron interviews Dr. Carol Weitzman, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician and the co-director of the Autism Spectrum Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, who helpfully says, “Even in the midst of very trying times, there are ways to promote resilience, and families can do that.”

What to look for? 

  • Your younger child shows a regression of skills

  • You child fixates on stories about monsters, changes eating habits, or has trouble sleeping and/or repeatedly experiences nightmares. 

  • Your teen rages, talks badly about themselves, avoids friends, sleeps too little or too much.

What to do? 

Ask them what’s on their mind. If they need routine, make it stricter. If they need less, been even more easygoing. Especially regarding teens, don’t let them drive you away. They will try. And finally, you may need to let them sit with their bad feelings and simply validate and witness. That may feel like you’re doing nothing, but you are doing quite a lot.



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