Stress in Children: Signs, Symptoms & Support in York, Manchester & online

What is Stress?

All children and teenagers will feel stressed at times as it is a normal response to events, challenges, and changes in life. Often, we see stress as a bad thing, caused by negative events, however upcoming positive events such as parties, holidays or new activities can cause stress too.

Your child or teenager will feel stressed when there is something that they feel under pressure for. Whilst a small amount of stress can be good and used as a motivator. Too much can have an impact on their mood, relationships and emotional wellbeing.


Symptoms of Stress

The body reacts physically and produces hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. This is to help prepare the body for urgent action, commonly known as ‘fight or flight mode’.

Stress in your child or teenager can manifest itself in changes to their usual behaviour and it affects everyone differently. Their response to stress will also change as they grow up and develop coping mechanisms and ways to handle stress.

Common changes can include:

Being moody or irritable

Trouble sleeping

Withdrawing from activities they previously enjoyed

Becoming clingy

Complaining about school

Struggling in school

Crying more often

Becoming overly clingy

Changing eating patterns


How to deal with Stress

It’s important to help your child or teenager to deal with stress in a healthy way, and not let it get the better of them.

Every child is different, so it is important to try different techniques to discover what is best for them, which in time will help them feel more confident and able to cope when they feel stress triggers coming on.

These tips can help your child manage their stress, but sometimes further professional support is needed.

Firstly, try talking together, being able to chat to a trusted adult can help your child or teenager put how they’re feeling into perspective and find solutions.

Getting enough sleep is essential to help keep stress in check. Experts recommend that 6 – 9 year olds need around 12 hours of sleep, and teenagers need 8 – 10 hours.

Encourage your child or teenager to go outside in the fresh air or to take time to exercise. Exercise is proven to release endorphins which are the ‘feel good’ hormones.


When to get help with Stress

If your child or teenager’s stress does not ease through talking to them and exploring ways to help manage it together, then it may be time to seek professional help.

We understand seeking therapy can be daunting for both you and your child and that taking the first step can be hard. We have a team of professional and friendly child therapists who can work together with you and your child to design a bespoke and flexible treatment which works best for them. Our children’s therapy services are available for children and teenagers aged 5 to 17, at our clinics in York, Manchester and online.

Please get in touch using the form below to find out more about how we can help.

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