5 ways to support kids through stress: Stride Psychology

Studies show kids and youth are stressed out more than ever before.

Dealing with exam stress, social pressures, schoolwork, and screen time, all while navigating a pandemic has resulted in higher levels of anxiety and stress among young people.

What is stress?

Stress refers to a situation or event that causes us to feel physical, emotional, or psychological

strain. Stress has always been a part of human life, and as a result, our bodies evolved a system to help us handle it. This system triggers a short-term “fight, flight, or freeze” response in our bodies and minds, designed to help us find safety until the danger has passed.

Unfortunately, if the situation does not pass quickly, this system runs much longer than intended, which can negatively impact our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.

What can cause stress in children?

Just like adults, every child is unique–we all have our own triggers when it comes to stress.

Stress can have many causes, which can be short-term or long-term. Some causes may include but are not limited to:

  • experiencing planned or unplanned changes

  • feeling a lack of control over situations

  • feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities

  • feelings of uncertainty or worry that they cannot resolve

  • feeling bored, purposeless, or aimless

Whether you’re a parent, educator, youth worker, or someone who supports children–it’s never pleasant to see children experiencing stress. Here are some ways we can help: