Responses to Your Child's Anxiety
Sleepovers To Stomach Aches. Questions and answers about stress in children.
What You Need To Know
Some children have a lot to handle, from divorce to peer pressure. Changes in caregiving arrangements, schools, or homes can also be unsettling. Stressed first graders may lack the self-knowledge, the vocabulary, or the confidence to explain how they feel. They may cry more often, be aggressive, or act nervously. Tension may cause health problems, including upset stomachs, headaches, and respiratory problems such as asthma.
How You Can Help
- Be mindful of your own anxiety. Adult problems (marriage, finances, career) are a long way from First Grade, but your child’s ability to handle their problems will mirror your own coping levels. Don’t let your stress seep into your children, and be sensitive about disputes with your partner.
- Keep talking. Plan a family meeting every week, when everyone can say what they’re feeling. Children will be much more confident if they know parents listen to what they think.
- Social life. First graders who interact well with peers have higher self-esteem and fewer behavioral problems. Support and encourage your child’s friendships, with sleepovers and shared activities.
- Play. Play is a great stress release for first graders. No matter how busy your child is, make time for them to play.
- Routines. Most children will feel more secure if they know what to expect in their day. Scheduled meals, bedtimes, and play will reassure them. First Grade is a time when children develop fast, so parents might also want to think up a few surprises (an unexpected trip to the circus or county fair, a family outing to watch the sun set, or a visit by a balloon maker), to ensure children stay stimulated.
For more information on stress in children, please see the full article:
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