How to Deal with Stress in Children

We tend to think of only adults as suffering from stress, but children are just as susceptible to physical and emotional stress factors. The arrival of a new sibling, starting primary school, end-of-term exams, parental divorce, boyfriend troubles can all lead to stress and worry for a child. Stress can manifest itself in a number of ways, such as bad behaviour, lack of concen­tration at school, bullying. Or it may be the trigger of a phys­ical illness, such as asthma, eczema or diarrhoea. The child may also become depressed and withdrawn.

What you can do

If you know a certain event, such as a new baby or starting a new school, is going to prove traumatic, take early steps to reassure your child. Don’t give your child too long to think about a distant event, but near the time, start positively preparing them for the changes that are to come. For any problem that may be causing your child stress, try to talk it out with them and work out ways to minimize the cause of the stress, or how it may be better handled.

Stress in Children



Hypnotherapy uses methods which will help the child to unconsciously learn, without being aware that they are learning. The unconscious mind can cope with a lot more than the conscious mind and so can help your child to learn to deal with stress. This may be done by recalling when stress was dealt with in the past and had a positive outcome and learning how to use that knowledge in the future.

Bach Flower Remedies

Depending on the cause of the stress, the child may be given any number of remedies. If the child is feeling rejected in any way, Larch will help with the feel­ings of lack of confidence and low self-esteem. Cerato may work well if they are feeling vulnerable and need reassurance. If there is jealousy over a new sibling, Holly will help to relieve those feelings, and Chicory will help the selfishness and the feeling of being left out.


A reflexologist will use different techniques depending on why the child is stressed, for instance, as a result of an injury, how they are handling the stress, how long they have been suffering and so on. The big toes which relate to the head will be particularly worked on, but the whole foot may be covered, according to the child. Apart from this, the one-to-one attention they will be receiving and a listening ear will also be a great help.


There are many oils that can have a calming, soothing effect on children. An aromatherapist may recom­mend a blend of oils, added to their bath or used in massage, depending on the cause of the stress. Chamomile Roman can help soothe the nerves and relieve insomnia, if the child is lying awake, worrying. Geranium can help depression and nervous tension and if stress results in a physical ailment, such as eczema. Used in small amounts (otherwise it acts as a stim­ulant), Lavender can relax and bring the emotions back into balance.

Other therapies that may be beneficial: Alexander Technique, herbal medicine, homoeopathy, osteopathy.

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care


About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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