Home ContentKids Feel Stress Too

Kids Feel Stress Too

Published : June 08, 2015

We tend to forget that our children do experience stress.

by Natalie Garmson

Neuroscience shows us that stress can be present right from birth, so why do kids experience stress? 

For many reasons, including exams, trauma, parents divorcing or separating, problems at school such as bullying, moving to a new country or a new school, an unexpected event, a loved-one’s death, loss of a pet or even seeing disturbing images such as violence or war on television that may result in nightmares.

Neuroscience has revealed that when a child experiences too much stress in early childhood, he or she may become habituated (addicted) to the stress chemicals, such as ACTH and cortisol, the consequence being that they may almost constantly feel scared or unsafe.  As parents, we need to comfort our child during times of stress, as children cannot regulate their own stress by themselves.

What parents can do to help
  • Listen to your child and make them feel valued and respected. 
  • Giving your child a massage at bedtime is a positive way to help your child relax. 
  • Nurturing touch, apart from providing a way for your child to de-stress, is also a parenting tool that parents can use to encourage their child to express what they are feeling in a safe and loving environment.
  • Massage strokes, such as Indian milking on your child’s arms and legs, are very relaxing strokes to give your child.  Indian milking is a massage stroke where you massage away from the body, stroking toward the feet or hands.
  • It is recommended to use a cold-pressed vegetable oil (organic if possible) when massaging your child. Pressure and technique are also important for your child to receive the maximum benefits; you can learn this from a certified infant massage instructor.

Five reasons why we should massage our children:

  1. Helps to maintain the bond you and your child have
  2. Reduces your child’s anxiety and stress levels
  3. Has a positive effect on their immune system
  4. Will improve their sleeping patterns
  5. Is a positive parenting tool and a fun way to help them to relax 

Idibidi Kids, based in Perth, offers massage instruction for parents and caregivers for infants and children up to the age of 12 years.  Visit www.idibidikids.com.au for further information.

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