More and more children experience stress and that is not surprising in a society where there are many incentives, overfull agendas, long days at school and childcare and pressure to perform. But even if there is enough time you will have to deal with stress, that is life. What exactly is stress and what can you as a parent and caregiver do to reduce stress in children?
What is stress?
Stress is nothing less than a reaction of our body to danger, because of the stress we become alert and we ensure that we survive. Once the danger has passed, the stress leaves the body. However, the danger remains, then stress accumulates, you subsequently get complaints and there is unrest and imbalance in our body. This is what we popularly call stress.
What is the danger that puts our body in the stress state? This is of course an injury or threat of injury, but also onhealty food, intense emotions, worries and all new experiences that our body does not yet know. We call these stressors.
The body’s response to stress is fight, flight and freeze.
What are the symptoms of stress?
When children have strong emotions or many emotions that are not expressed, this often manifests itself in abdominal pain and not being able to sleep well.
Children in school who have difficulty learning or who are overextended often become busy and angry.
When you worry and think too much, you see a headache and when you lose control over the situation, you see bed wetting.
You see children who are not being ther own self and who demand attention in a negative way.
How to reduce stress?
By exercising a lot, children relieve stress. When our body experiences stress, we flee or fight. We have to do this literally. With flight behavior you can run, jump, stamp feet, kick and especially movement of the legs. With fighting behavior you can think of boxing, tearing, throwing, squeezing and especially movement with force via the arms.
Emotions want to be seen and expressed. So name the emotion without knowing the why and give it space. You can cry and be angry too. There is often a taboo on being angry, we say take it easy, we will immediately solve it and name reasons not to be angry. No, being angry is essentially standing up for yourself. You can limit it because we are not allowed to name names, hurt someone and break things. How do you give space to anger? By hitting a pillow, stamping, yelling (into pillow), squeezing stress balls or running outside. Find out what suits the child.
Cuddling, rocking, drinking water, sleeping and time also reduces stress.
If the stress is so intense and there is freezing, then seek help to process it. The stress and the situation must be disconnected from each other in order not to be bothered again later.
Who can help me learn how manage stress?
Click here for a personal consult. In this practice, stress will be balanced. Children do excercice suitable for the situation and problems.
Learning through movements