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Helping Your Child Discover What is Causing Stress in their Lives

Updated on April 26, 2012
Help your child discover there stressors. Then help them to deal with those stressors before they crack!
Help your child discover there stressors. Then help them to deal with those stressors before they crack! | Source

Stress is something at we will all find ourselves having to deal with at one time or another in our lives. There is just no escaping the fact that if you are alive there will be stress in your life – both good and bad.

Until you assist your child in discovering what their stressors are, you will not be able to help your child deal with those same stresses.

Younger kids may be able to better express their feelings through art.
Younger kids may be able to better express their feelings through art. | Source

Using Art as a Stress Discovery Tool

Sometimes children, especially younger children, cannot verbalize what is causing them stress or how they are feeling stressed. Asking them about it can be frustrating for both of you – you because you feel they are refusing to answer, and them because they lack the thought processes to put into words what or how they are feeling.

Many times when they cannot find the words, they can create a drawing that clearly illustrates what they are feeling. Work together on this. Grab a couple blank sheets of paper – one for you and one for them. Ask your child to draw about what is making them feel unhappy or sad or angry? You start drawing and encourage them to do the same. While drawing, talk to your child about your drawing and ask them about theirs. Casually ask about the things they are drawing, their choice of colors and what the drawing means to them. Then listen – really listen – to what they share with you.

Using Discussion as a Stress Discovery Tool

When talking with your child, you do not want to force them to talk about what is bothering them. Consider creating opportunities for them to share their issues with you, such as car trips, walks together or bedtime.

And then instead of asking, “What’s wrong?” ask more specific questions such as, “How are things going between you and Paul?” Paul is your son’s best friend and he has spoken of him in a couple days. This might be a good indication that something is wrong. Or you might just ask, “How is Paul doing? I haven’t seen him in a few days. I hope he is not sick.”

Create opportunities to spend special one-on-one time with your child. Find an activity, passion, or hobby which you can do alone with your child. Not only will this time create a special bond between you and your child, it will afford an opportunity for your child to talk to you about what is going on in their life. And you can have fun at the same time! If talking is fun, they are more likely to do it.

No matter what your child shares with you, it is important that you do not criticize what they share with you. If you do, your child will learn not to tell you things soon stop sharing with you. If this happens you will not be able to help them learn the strategies they need to learn to deal with stress.

Using Active Listening as a Stress Discovery Tool

At the end of the above paragraph, I stressed that we should “really listen”. Really listening means that we are actively listening. To actively listen means to be actively involved in the process of listening. It requires our full undivided attention, and it generally does not require us to share more than an occasional affirmative to let them know that they still have our attention.

Active listening is very important in letting a child know that they are important to you. Many times they do not want any advice and they do not want us to try and solve or fix the problem for them. They just want to know that they are being heard.

Sometimes this can be hard for them to do, especially face to face. Sharing a quiet activity with them such as going for a walk allows them the time they need to share in an environment that may be less intense that facing someone face to face – especially if they are feeling doubts about themselves, and fear what they might see in your face while they are sharing, or if they are feeling guilt.

What To Do With This Knowledge

Until you know what the stressors are in your child's life, you may not know what avenue to pursue in helping them to deal with their stress. For example, if is is school, maybe they need a tutor. If it is being bullied, this will require a different type of coping skill.

Finding your child's stressors arms you with knowledge. With this knowledge, you can guide you child to a solution to their stresses. A child who is able to deal with their stressors successfully, is a child who is healthier and happier.

Once you know what the stressors are, you can deal with them, Kids and Stress ~ Stress Management for Kids. Check it out!

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Copyright © 2012 Cindy Murdoch (homesteadbound)

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Comments: "Helping Your Child Discover What is Causing Stress in their Lives"

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    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      molometer - once again, thanks. I hope it does help parents. As our world keeps getting more stressful, the better prepared our kids are to deal with the stress, the better things will be.

      mann101955 - I agree with you. But it is hard to separate yourself from your emotions when you are dealing with your kids.

      Simone Smith - you were lucky to have such great parents. I'm sure they helped make you into the success that you are today.

      Thanks to all of you for stopping by. I really appreciate it.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      Great advice! My parents were wonderful about talking with me (and actively listening) about the things that stressed me out, and it made a huge difference.

    • mann101955 profile image


      8 years ago from TRICHIRAPALLI, TAMIL NADU, INDIA-621216

      Many times parent's actions are based on emotions without understanding the psychology of children. Anyway, it's great hub.

    • molometer profile image


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Your Welcome Cindy,

      Good advice is good advice.

      The methods you describe can be used by anyone that has the well-being of their child in mind.

      I am sure people will find these insights very helpful.

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      molometer - Coming from a teacher, I consider this to be high praise. Yes, young children really have not developed the ability to process all this information to know what is going on much less how to deal with it. Stress definitely makes people sick and can kill. Thanks so much.

    • molometer profile image


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Cindy,

      Great tips on how to find out what is going on in those little minds. We can forget sometimes that children face the same dillemas as adults but haven't developed the coping strategies we have.

      Stress is stress and left untreated can be fatal.

      Voted up useful and interesting SHARING

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      hoteltravel - everyone likes to feel like they have some kind of control, and none of us wants to feel pressured to share something until we are ready to do so.

      ytsenoh - Being engaged in your child's life is so very important.

      justateacher - so glad you found this hub to be useful and interesting.

      Thanks to all of you for stopping by and commenting. I really appreciate it!

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 

      8 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      As always, a very useful hub! These are great ideas to help your child figure out what is stressing him or her...especially the active listening...sometimes this is the only thing they need to open up...

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Ardie - thanks so much!

      Matt Stan - Art is a creative way to release what is bothering you.

      teaches12345 - Art is an especially useful way to help your child figure out wha is causing stress in their lives.

      cloverleaffarm - The eggs were cute, weren't they?

      Thanks to all of you for stopping by and commenting. I really appreciate it.

    • ytsenoh profile image


      8 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      Interesting and thought provoking hub. Thank you for presenting some good ideas. To be engaged in your child's life carries a lot of value in the longrun.

    • hoteltravel profile image


      8 years ago from Thailand

      Keeping the channel of communication wide open is a good method. You nailed it when you said that instead of directly confronting them with question like 'What's wrong?', talking things over while engaged in some activity produce better results. Voted up and useful.

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 

      8 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      Great hub. Love the egg idea! Voted up.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      8 years ago

      Great article on helping children work out stress in their life. Drawing pictures tells so much and will help parents to understand how to chat with them about their problem. Well written and voted up.

    • Matt Stan profile image

      Matt Stan 

      8 years ago from Colorado

      I like the idea of using art, great hub!

    • Ardie profile image


      8 years ago from Neverland

      Cindy, these are really useful techniques for figuring out what is causing a child stress. Good advice!


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