Every human being feels stressed at one time or another, and children are no exception to this. Stress is a normal and natural response to changes or challenges in one’s life. Stress is not innately negative, yet certain responses to different feelings can affect healthy childhood development.
Curious about the side effects stress can have on your children? Let’s closely examine the typical responses to stressors experienced during early childhood and their impact on development.
The Common Types of Stress Children Face
Individuals of all ages face several types of stress on an everyday basis. Yet, according to Nationwide Children’s, “Children are especially vulnerable to repeated stress activation, as their brains and bodies are in a critical and sensitive period of development.” These pediatric experts define stress for children as either positive, tolerable, or toxic.
Any of the above categories may result in noticeable physical, behavioral, or emotional symptoms. Parents should keep an eye out for telltale signs of potential stress to ensure their children can cope in a healthy manner.
Harmful Stress Responses During Development
As Verywell Mind notes, continual stress—not of a positive nature—is difficult on children during their growth and development. If they do not have the support they need or have not developed coping skills to offset the stress, they may respond in a manner that is harmful to their well-being. Ergo, stress management is essential to avoid the negative side effects stress can have on your children.
Otherwise, exposure to ongoing chronic stress can cause increased aggression, decreased concentration or motivation, hyperactive behavior, eating or sleeping disorders, social isolation from family and friends, or a heightened reliance on childhood habits that will have long-term health consequences.
Alleviating the Side Effects of Chronic Stress
Alleviating childhood stress requires parents to provide greater certainty and consistency in their children’s environments. A caring relationship that offers safety, stability, and nurturing can protect a child from the consequential effects of potential stressors or unhealthy coping mechanisms, including thumb sucking.
How to Stop a Sucking Habit
Thumb sucking is a natural response to feelings of stress and anxiety for young children but should be discouraged by the time a child reaches school age. A prolonged sucking habit is not an appropriate response to life’s stressors. Continuing this behavior as a coping mechanism causes diverse wellness issues that may persist into adulthood, ranging from a lack of self-confidence to teeth misalignment.
Fortunately, parents or authority figures can help bring it to an end with extra care and support. One effective remedy to stop thumb sucking habits is TGuard’s AeroThumb. Consider this approach as you simultaneously help your child find a healthier coping strategy for feelings of stress or anxiety. Learn more about this quick-and-easy treatment device on our website today.
“Is Your Child Dealing With Stress?” from Verywell Mind
“Toxic Stress: How the Body’s Response Can Harm a Child’s Development” from Nationwide Children’s