Is Your Child Overstressed? - Page 2
Stress symptoms in children are similar to those in adults. They may have headaches and stomachaches; they may experience reluctance to participate in activities, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness and loss of appetite. In its extreme, anxiety can result in the development of generalized anxiety disorder. Symptoms of depression are irritability, reduced energy, a feeling of hopelessness and a decline in performance at school. These symptoms are a red light that the child is overwhelmed. Do not rush to the doctor at once, thinking something is seriously wrong. Instead, talk to your child. Whether the parent is pushing the child into overwhelming activities or the child itself is an overachiever is irrelevant. Families should spend time together and communicate whenever possible, and not only when you are driving your kid to school. Ask them why they think they feel that way and whether they really need to keep up this schedule. They should think about dropping some engagements and leaving only the ones that really matter. Ask yourself why you are pushing them so hard and whether you are trying to somehow live through them. If you do not do anything about it and keep up the heavy schedule, you may be headed for disaster – the child might make it to a good college and crack halfway through the first semester of their freshman year.