Could your child be stressed?

While we may think of stress as a very adult malady – most commonly afflicting high powered business executives and frazzled mums – experts claim that this generation of children are more stressed than ever.

So how can parents spot the signs that their child is suffering from stress, and what can they do to help? Erika Brodnock, one of the UK’s leading experts on the subject of raising happy, successful children says that there are several tell-tale signs to look out for: “A child being regularly worried or anxious, having repeated trouble with sleeping, a sudden drop in school work/grades, massive changes in eating habits or nightmares out of the blue would be indicators that require further investigation. More obvious signs would be prolonged sadness without obvious reason, refusal to go to school or take part in usual routines and activities – i.e. a child locking themselves away for long periods of time.

“Hyperactive behaviour, including constant fidgeting, twitching and tantrums may also be a sign of a mental health disorder and can often be mistaken for ‘bad behaviour’”.

There are several things parents can do to help their child if they think he or she might be stressed. Simple steps such as encouraging children to regulate their breathing, eat well, drink plenty of water and get plenty of exercise will all help improve a child’s mood.

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