“Why is it that these days we can hear children saying more often they’re feeling hurt, low, irritated and do not want to face the world?”
I am very much connected to the children; because my profession is dealing with them and also helping them in all possible ways for their betterment. Each and every child is unique. Earlier; when I was a child; I had never mentioned or heard of ‘stress’. All I knew was fear; fear for exams; results; assignments; losing my parents and friends. But now, when I meet children and listen to their feelings and thoughts; I could see how they express their fear but in different ways. Ending their life is the most common thought they get because they fear to face their problems and to talk about it; thinking they will not be heard. To some point I can understand their concern because the time has changed so does the values of relationship.
So stress in young adults was common but stress in teens is rising. They are more badly affected. There are different factors that can cause stress. The main reason is not able to understand self. Children are so dependent on others like their parents; guardians and friends. If something is hurting them they’re not able to express it freely and slowly they themselves don’t know how and when they get overstressed. Other two factors are psychological and physiological. Psychological is when they are tired; hurt by something that had happened in their family or in school which was unexpected. Other points that affect them are their marks; failure; achievements; parent’s expectations; parent’s threats; unhealthy environment at home; parent’s fight; parent’s separation process; leaving away from parents; staying with relatives; etc. They don’t know whom to talk to and how to talk about their fear. It increases and this starts affecting their lives; doing their day to day activities and slowly it increases to worst.
Physiological factors are mainly related to disabilities and injuries of the body and health-related issues. One may accept their disability and prepare them to face the world but for others, it might be difficult and he/she keeps cursing of being like this; and this will lead to stress. Injuries caused due to accident and incidents can be reparable or irreparable; this will also lead to stress.
There are different signs and symptoms of stress seen in young children, teens and adolescences. Here are few most common and noticeable ones; they are; the child will have behavioural issues; a sudden change in the way they behave towards others or towards the particular person; feeling very tired and dull always; no more interest in doing activities which used to interest them earlier; loss of appetite or a sudden increase in hunger; low eating or overeating habits; insomnia and hypomania; sudden loss of weight or gain of weight; loss of hair; avoiding friends and social events; always talking about running away alone; talking about not liking this world, and talking about ending of life. But do they have to struggle and face so much?
Now the thing is how to help them. Children should need to be approached by parents and school teacher or counsellor if any of the signs are noted for repeated days. They should be given comforts to feel free to express their issues and difficulties. Children while expressing shouldn’t be judged or advised immediately. They should get the sense of being heard first and foremost. If they are repeatedly complaining about any health issue; then the proper diagnosis should be done to make sure what other problem the child might be suffering from. Good care and positive response will lower their stressfulness and make them feel better. If parents always show up on requirements; then half of the problem is solved at the beginning itself but sometimes even they are held up with their problems and commitments and the child feels that he is left alone. Proper planning and guidance from a proper counsellor and cooperation from parents can be helpful. Take care of your child and don’t wait for things to be serious; take action when changes are noted.
Regards, Sejal Davey. Special educator; child and career counsellor and parenting coach.