Episode #19 in the “Raising Kids Who Can Cope” Series
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We all want to raise kids who are emotionally and socially intelligent and are able to recover from disappointment to grow stronger every day into adulthood
As adults, we are very busy with parenting and work. We often feel stressed and experience burn-out from dealing with day-to-day situations. But would you ever think that your child can experience stress too?
Studies tell us that many children experience extreme stress and have similar symptoms as those of adults. Stress is the body’s reaction to a physical or emotional situation that causes imbalance in a person’s life. Children may show signs of stress in several ways such as becoming ill, acting nervous and withdrawn, or showing anger and demanding attention. Some things that could cause a child stress might be death, divorce, remarriage, moving, abuse, natural disaster and so on.
One way to help your child learn to deal with their stress is to acknowledge their feelings. It is important that a child understands what they are feeling, and can begin to understand how to cope or problem solve to reduce the amount of stress they may be under. You do not need to be a therapist to help your child cope with stress. One key element in reducing stress is providing a stress-free environment in which children feel supported, providing opportunities to think through possible solutions and opportunities to learn new ways to avoid stress.
Children who are around supportive adults and caregivers usually develop a variety of coping strategies and are likely to become more resilient. By helping your child learn to solve problems on their own, you will help them to become stronger adults and viable community members. Who knows, you may even learn a thing or two about dealing with your own stress in the process.
Raising Kids Who Can Cope is a 28-part series developed to build skills, knowledge and awareness in adults who play a role in young people’s lives. It is brought to you by Jackson County UW-Extension and Together for Jackson County Kids. Find out more at Raising Kids Who Can Cope.
Virginia State Cooperative Extension, http://www.ext.vt.edu
North Carolina Cooperative Extension, http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/fcs/pdfs/fcs457.pdf