How do you even know if your child facing more stress than they can cope with? You may notice stress symptoms like those mentioned above, but until you are able to communicate with them, you won’t be able to get down to the root of the problem.
Encourage open channels of communication by making it routine for your child to share how their day went. To cement this healthy habit, you should also share how your day went, including both the good and bad things that happened.
Show an interest in their lives every day, and not just when it’s convenient for you. Don’t just stop with close-ended questions, especially if your child answers “just fine” without much interest. This could be a sign of stress, as children tend to withdraw themselves when faced with stress, or it could genuinely be “just fine”. You need to know which.
Instead, ask open-ended questions to encourage them to describe what they did during their day, and establish a healthy line of communication and candid conversations. Remember, you are treading a fine line between adding another source of stress for them and trying to be the solution.
You can also go a step further to help them communicate better in their social circle. Besides just you and your spouse, it is important that they feel they can talk to their siblings, friends or teachers when needed. Equip them with the ability to find mentors, seek advice from the right people and bounce ideas with a person they trust.
In many instances, simply vocalising the stress they feel rather than bottling it, can be half the battle won.