Kids with Less Stress Sleep, Learn and Behave Better
An article on Psych Central outlines the perils of stress on human beings, which demonstrates that sleep, learning, behavior and more are all impacted. Children are not immune to these detrimental effects which include:
Lack of Energy/Fatigue
Deficits in Logical, Sequential Thinking
Feelings of Being Overwhelmed (Ineffectual)
Inability to Relax/Lack of Joy
In fact, I would posit that since kids have less life experience and their coping tool boxes are smaller, stress may affect them in even more substantial ways. This, coupled with the fact that they lack an expansive vocabulary to describe their experiences may intensify their feelings of upset.
How it Applies to Kids
Through the years, I've seen all of the above in my office, as well as in classrooms, in kids as young as three years of age, which coincides with what empirical studies tell us. There is no end to the things that can stress young children out, even though some believe that kids "have it made" or are having the time of their lives. Often, these issues manifest as stomachaches, headaches and behavioral issues in children. Some children cry very easily and have a hard time being soothed, while others may yell, scream and tantrum. While all kids will engage in these behaviors, it is the quality, quantity and degree of these experiences and how much they upset a child's life and ability to engage in developmentally appropriate activities that will often result in them coming to see me or someone like me.
Life Can Be Hard at Any Age
The truth is, life can be hard at any age, but it doesn't have to be that way. It can all change because we can teach kids easy, transferable skills that make a difference, starting today!
I've taught thousands of kids how to manage, and "be the boss" of their stress through the years.
The Earlier the Better
Early intervention is key when it comes to helping kids learn more effective coping styles and providing them with tools that they will continue to refine and sharpen throughout their lives. These kinds of tools are important to ALL kids, not just kids with anxiety and/or depression.
The Trouble Is
The trouble is, there are no parenting classes that teach parents how to help their kids cope better. Dr. Kenney and I wrote BLOOM as a starting point to help parents nurture and empathize with children in meaningful ways to promote behavior change and improve functioning. In two weeks, we will be providing a 20-hr training in the application of BLOOM BRAINSMARTS for educators, clinicians and parents.
Those things will be a huge help for others who care for and about children.
Kidlutions entire mission has been to help big people better care for little people in the social-emotional realm, so they can raise ethical, productive and contributing members of society who enjoy healthy human relationships and find more JOY!
Below is our newest video that spotlights one of our resources to help kids calm down and relax (and hence enjoy a host of benefits, as mentioned above).
Reference: J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2014 Apr 1.
Published in final edited form as: