For the last few months I’ve shared with you helpful tips on an important topic: STRESS! Once again, we will address some concerns many parents have about stress when it comes to their lives and their children.
There are untold parents with children who have mental health issues related to toxic stress. They may find themselves struggling with constant anger and stress in the home. Many just do their best and try to hold things together without asking for help from family or friends.
But anger and stress are not good for the body or mind. They can actually take a physical toll on both parents and children. There’s no easy way to deal with stress, but it’s important to find the origin of the problem and work on a solution best suitable for everyone involved.
Sometimes we may need a little help to achieve that goal if your children, family or you are stressed. Listed here you will find an ACEs QUIZ. ACEs is short for “Adverse Childhood Experiences.” Adverse Childhood Experiences means damaging life events like emotional or physical abuse, neglect, parental addiction and mental illness. These are all experiences that can be life-altering for a child.
Parents know their children better than anyone, so below are some simple ways to tell if something is off with your child such as poor sleeping habits, frequent headaches, behavior and learning changes, uncontrollable crying spells (more than usual), regressing to bedwetting and fear, to name a few that can all be related to toxic stress!
Signs to look out for :
In school-age kids and teens, common signs of toxic stress include:
- Poor coping skills
- Behavior and learning difficulties
- Mood swings
- Sleep issues
- Overeating and other compulsive behaviors
- Fear and anxiety triggered by places or people that remind them of past trauma
These are not the only possible symptoms of toxic stress, but they provide important clues that your child may need help.
Frequent illness can be another sign of trouble.
Although children often fall ill because their immune systems are still growing, and they spend lots of time passing germs back and forth with other kids, those experiencing toxic stress are especially likely to get colds and other infections.
They are also at higher risk for health conditions like asthma, and they may not mature physically and mentally at the same pace as other children.
Children may not even realize they are hurt and upset by past traumas. They have suppressed them for so long, they no longer find themselves worrying until they are “triggered” by something that reminds them of their trauma or the situation arises again! It is a parent’s duty to make sure our children are free of unhealthy stress, happy and loved! I do believe the tips above will help assist you and your children. Take a moment today to visit StressHealth.org to see the many resources and support topics to help you and your family learn how to identify and address toxic stress.
Remember, toxic stress is a health issue where children’s biography becomes their biology. That’s why the primary goal of Stress Health is to “help parents recognize the powerful force they can be in preventing and reversing the impacts of toxic stress in their children,” explains Jabeen Yusuf, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Center for Youth Wellness.
Start today, and learn to set yourself free from toxic stress!
Disclosure: This post is in partnership with StressHealth.org and all opinions expressed are my own. Information shared for this editorial was provided the Center for Youth Wellness.