Children and Stress
Monday, October 19, 2009

Children begin to experience stress at a very early age, and they are often more vulnerable to stress than adults because they have not yet learned effective ways to cope with it. Parents can help their children acquire the skills necessary to effectively cope with stress while their children are young. Dr. Edward Hill takes a closer look at children and stress in the 60 Second Housecall.

Childhood can seem like a carefree time but children still experience stress. Things like school and social life can sometimes create pressures that can feel overwhelming for kids. Here are some steps that parents can take to help their children cope with stress.

Let your child know when you notice somethingís bothering him or her. Listen attentively and calmly ó with interest, patience, openness and caring.

Help your child think of things to do. If thereís a specific problem thatís causing stress, talk together about what to do.

Listen and move on. Sometimes talking and listening and feeling understood is all thatís needed to help a childís frustrations begin to melt away.

Let your child know youíll be there when he or she does feel like talking. You can help your child feel better just by being there.

Parents canít solve every problem as kids go through life but by teaching healthy coping strategies, youíll prepare your kids to manage the stresses that come in the future.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.