Stress: How to Identify Symptoms in Kids

Life is not all about sunshine and rainbows. It never fails a chance to show you ‘who the boss is.’ Everybody, from every age group, someday or other, finds himself/herself in a situation that might ‘make’ them or ‘break’ them. Our body’s reaction to such situations defines stress. Some of us come out strong, while some fail to do so.

Stress is your body’s hormonal response to working under pressure and out of the comfort zone. It encourages one to be in his/her best form and gives the ability to perform better. However, if the body starts releasing these stress hormones in ‘a little too much’ quantities, it may hamper the quality of life and performance. Stress can be self-generated or imposed. In case of students and young kids, stress can be provoked by the pressure to excel in the examinations, to win a match, or a feeling of being lonesome and threatened. It can additionally be evoked by comparisons, relationship trauma, physiological transformation, inequality, etc.

Continual stress may give rise to various emotional and physical repercussions like depression, anxiety, stroke, hypertension, neurological disorders, immune disturbances, sleep disorders, gastric disturbances, etc. Studies have also shown that it may also aggravate skin problems, breathing difficulties and sexual impairments in a very few cases.

We now know what havoc stress can be to our bodies and it’s functioning. Let’s have a look at a couple of symptoms that can help you identify the signs of stress in your kids and help them to cope up with it well in advance.

  1. Jaw clenching and teeth grinding, stammering and lips trembling – if your kid is experiencing any of these frequently, be alert, something is bothering him/her too much.
  2. Sudden and frequent headaches – if your physician couldn’t give you any concreate cause for the headache complaints from your little one, you can safely blame it on stress. It is one of the major cause of headaches in most of the cases.
  3. Neck aches, back pain, muscle spasms and muscle contractions – Although these symptoms are common with adults, but frequent complaints from kids is something you should worry about.
  4. Dizziness and tremors – if your kids face shaky hands, legs or fainting too often, you should get them checked with a physician. If there isn’t any deficiency of vitamins & minerals, its stress that’s causing these symptoms.
  5. Buzzing or popping sounds in ears – We often treat this as our kids’ trick to avoid studies or grab attention. Don’t forget to pay your keen attention, it might be because of stress.
  6. Excessive blushing, sweating, goose bumps – We all love those chubby red cheeks when our kids blush, but too much and too often can point towards something wrong.
  7. Dry mouth and swallowing problems – Kids are prone to a range of respiratory and gastric infections that lead to such symptoms. If that isn’t the case, it’s due to stress that your child might be experiencing.
  8. Frequent cold and infections – need we explain it? It’s body’s way of alarming you, something isn’t perfect with your kid’s health.
  9. Unexplained or frequent ‘allergy’ attacks – Sneezing, rashes, breathlessness, and/or fast and deep breaths are all signs of stressful period in your kid’s life.
  10. Sudden change in appetite – although kids keep making fuss about food and their choices, however of you notice some drastic changes in the appetite (either increased or decreased), you can blame it on stress. Your child might also complaint of nausea, frequent stomach pain and/or heartburn.
  11. Abrupt and unexplainable mood swings – if you notice unreasonable, abrupt laughs, tears or aggression; increased anxiety and nervousness; or increased heartbeat, chest pain or palpitations you can be sure that the kid is in too much of stress.
  12. Insomnia – if the child experiences difficulty in sleeping, sees nightmare, or wakes up often during the night in a state of confusion, it indicates lack of peace of mind.
  13. Indecisiveness – Difficulty in making decisions, trouble learning, and lack of confidence and concentration is also hugely visible in kids who suffer with stress issues.
  14. Problem in communication – Hesitation in expressing opinions, emotions or virtue and inability to understand and follow common commands is also a sign of stress that our kids’ behavior tell us.
  15. Frequent crying spells or suicidal thoughts – Sense of meaningless life is generally seen in elder kids suffering from chronic stress

In addition to above mentioned signs and symptoms, behavioral changes and change in habits are also seen in some children. Stress directly affects the working of the brain and ultimately disturbs the body functions.

Additionally, stress causes inefficient performance, intolerant behavior and poor judgement of the situation. The child also experiences inability to keep the mind calm and relaxed and loses control over his actions quickly and frequently. The worst part is, stress generates the sense of negativity around the sufferer, which lowers the self-confidence.

Having said all that, we would still say, stress isn’t bad always. Many a times it helps one to push himself/herself to gear up and take up challenges of higher level. Although when persists, it can exacerbate serious health problems.

Stress, in today’s world is omnipresent and occurs in individuals of all ages. We should devise our own means to deal with it and try to beat it with positive actions. One should identify the stress related events in the lives of our kids and loved ones and help them to fight it out.

Take a chill pill, ‘stressed’ is just ‘Desserts’ spelled backwards.

Note – These signs and symptoms can strike with some other ailments as well, so it is important to consult a qualified doctor and take a specialist’s advice and counselling.

 


How to make your fidgety child learn effectively?

Watching your child achieving milestones in his/her life is a bliss and we always expect to see their constant progressing victory. Just as a coin has two faces and one flips over another, similarly our kids also turn obnoxious when something upsets them. We need to stay prepared for the darker sides of our children’s mood. It is necessary to understand their behavior and act in the right manner.

Most of the problems arise when we fail to relate to their issues. A school-goer goes through several transitions both mentally and physically. In such situation, it becomes a fight to make them study.

We need to follow some simple tricks to tackle such chaos and today, we are going to talk just about it.

  1. Give attention to the problem rather than emphasizing on the consequent aggression. The problem should be eradicated deep down from the roots in order to block it from flourishing furthermore.
  2. Make a kick start from pulling them out from the thinking process that runs through their mind at that moment. Talk about the things they like the most or they do the best.
  3. Be a motivating parent. Over criticism builds up negativity in their minds. Empower them to accept your virtues by listening what they want from you.
  4. Do it in a playful fashion. You know that you love them the most and it is the right time to express that. Cuddle them, mimic their activities, cook for them, pamper them, etc.
  5. Reward them for the good behavior.
  6. Set time for different activities. This ensures them that you take care of all the needs that are important for them.
  7. Befriend your child. Hang out with them, appreciate their attempts.
  8. Keep an eye on them so that they do not get distracted while studying. It also makes them alert. Do not go harsh while pointing out instead help them to stay attentive.
  9. Cultivate the sense of competition with a positive approach. Show them that how awesome one can become if they perform well.
  10. Keep your explanations restricted to short sentences. Deliver a clear, simple and lasting message that stays in their mind.
  11. Work along with them to rule out the difficulties that trouble them and pushes away.
  12. Participate to develop skills which they lack.
  13. Tell them that it is normal and everyone faces problems while learning. This will strengthen their will to put in efforts.
  14. Share success stories of great personalities with them, who succeeded after facing failures in their lives.
  15. Try word games, flow charts, pictorial representations and other interesting methods of learning that dissolve the dullness they encounter.
  16. Put examples from day-to-day life for better and easier understanding.
  17. Inculcate the habit of writing down notes. isn’t it a proven fact, practice makes a man perfect?
  18. Teach them that whatever they study now, they’ll be able to implement in later stages of life.
  19. Restrict yourself from getting involved in any fun activity around them, while they are studying.
  20. Share their failure just like you brag about their success.

We are sure most of you must be using the above-mentioned points with your school-goers. If not, try them out, it will help you to get closer to your child and you will find it easier to deal with them. Be a smart parent and work in collaboration with your child to win over the hurdles that stop them from reaching the paramount.

Image courtesy – Google Image.


5 Misconceptions Parents Believe Are True

Being parents to school-goers can be a daunting task.  With some pre-conceived notions and misconceptions we believe in, we make learning difficult for our kids. Here are some misconceptions we have listed out for all the parents to have a look at and introspect – if we are helping our kids to grow or otherwise.

1- Starting Education Early Hampers Life-Long Learning

Early education

Although there is a common thought among the parents & educationists across the nations that starting formal schooling at early age hampers life-long learning for the kids. But when we talk of education and learning, it isn’t only about formal schooling. Studies by various researchers in the field have proved that intelligence & learning abilities can be built upon by following right teaching techniques from very early age, as low as 9 months to 1 year. According to studies by Luby et al in 2013, IQ scores of children can be enhanced by instructing them in logic and critical thinking, also brain-shrinking stress in children can be protected by using sensitive and responsive techniques in parenting. Did you know, human brain develop fastest between birth and age 5 than any other time period during the entire lifespan? This is the time when the brain makes new connections and begins to maximize efficiency to keep or eliminate newly created connections. It is actually critical during this time that parents conduct educational exercises and provide continuous and repeated positive reinforcements that would help child’s brain to develop and accommodate new learning for the lifetime.

2- Educating the Child is School’s Job

school Job

As described in the previous paragraph, education or learning is a never-ending process that starts at a very early stage in our lives. Believing entirely in or relying just on formal schooling for education is the biggest misconception a parent can have. For the continuous and holistic growth of the children, the education should not start and stop within the school boundaries. In fact, children should be encouraged to learn from everyday activities. Practicing and developing social skills can be achieved by interacting with others; exposing kids to rich languages increases their vocabulary and reading abilities dramatically and we all know this can’t be achieved only by directed academic programs followed by formal schooling. It is essential for parents to encourage their children to learn through playing, hands-on activities, and exploration. This not only helps them in storing new information but also co-relate it with existing knowledge and thus develop cognitive abilities far better than gained just by relying on academic curriculum.

3- Being Excellent in Academics Bring Career Success

career success

When we talk of teenagers, the academic pressure is not the only pressure they have to deal with.  With their bodies undergoing physical & hormonal changes, they usually have to bear with constant nagging from parents about concentrating solely on academics. And this is mostly because of, one of the misconceptions that parents believe in–focusing only on and putting in efforts for academics would help their teenagers to achieve career success. However, educators, psychologists, psychiatrists and academicians have time and again proved to the world that being good solely in academics will do no good to a child. However, being average in academics and developing life skills through sports, music and other co-curricular activities help a child in shaping his/her career better. In today’s world, there is no dearth of career options and being successful in the career of one’s choice isn’t solely decided by the knowledge one gains by theories taught in school, but by the passion for excelling in same. We can see a number of examples worldwide who have proved this misconception wrong outrightly – Be it Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elton John or A.R. Rahman to name a few.

4- Comparing Students With Peers Motivate Them

motivation & comparision

I wouldn’t say this one is a complete misconception, however, it is a lack of ability to judge ‘how much is too much’ at parent’s end which makes it alarming for a child. Parents indulge themselves into pressurizing their kids for doing great in academics based on the expectations set by others in the class/neighbor. However, it is very important to understand that every kid is different and the performance in academics is directly proportional to efforts put on the student’s shortcomings rather than comparing him/her with other high-performers in the class. Comparing your kids constantly with others will only result in increased peer pressure, which they already have to deal with. Comparing your kids with others occasionally might help in motivating them at times but surely hampers their will to do more and achieve when this comparison becomes habitual.

5- Having a Lots of Friends Distract

friends

The thought that friends always distract students from studies is one of the biggest misconception parents have. It is due to this thought that parents try to restrict the ‘friends time’ to a minimum in a day’s schedule for the school-goers. However, this is a well-studied fact that learning is enhanced when done with peers. Friends help in learning as they can relate to materials with shared experiences, peers are familiar with each other’s ability to grasp concepts, and friends can provide each other with a comfort level that can help overcome anxieties, hindrances, and discouragements. Not only the academic growth of your child is dependent on the kind of and no. of friends one has, but the ability to learn life skills is increased multi-folds with friends around. Go ahead and ease-up that strict rule for your little ones now.

Credits – google Images.


Peer Pressure and How to Help Kids Handle It

PeerPressureWhat is Peer Pressure? Dictionary defines peer pressure as ‘the social influence a peer group exerts on its individual members, as each member attempts to conform to the expectations of the group.’ In simple terms, if your kid wishes to do something that would project him/her cool in his/her group, without a personal liking towards it – this should ring a bell of peer pressure in your mind. It is most likely that this pressure would encourage your child to develop certain unhealthy habits. Here in this blog, we’ll attempt to make you aware of the ways to handle and overcome peer pressure.

Why You Fall Prey to Peer Pressure - Copy

Why Your Children Fall Prey to Peer Pressure?  Most probable cause of falling prey to peer pressure is desire to be liked and admired by the group or influencers of the group. Children also give in to peer pressure because they are worried of being rejected or made fun of. Some go ahead with it, just to curb their curiosity and others get influenced to try out what everyone else is doing. A few other likely reasons can be – not being sure of what to do, don’t know how to say a ‘no’, and don’t want to feel awkward of having difference of opinion with the group. How it Can Affect Mostly the peer pressure is associated with increased negative or risky behaviors in kids and adolescents. As human tendency, children are more prone to adapting to negative behavior than to positives and peer-pressure accelerates the rate. Generally peer-pressure is held responsible for smoking, cheating, shoplifting, bullying, and unethical and unsafe use of cell phones and social media by kids and adolescents. It also boosts physical abuse and violence among middle and high school students. Although peer pressure is mostly associated with negative behavior, but when in moderation, it also helps build some positive behavior in your children. It supports children to adjust in a group, it also encourages them to try new sports, activities, food, music, etc. Additionally, it motivates children to meet new people and workout the difference of opinions. It’s just that you have to be little aware of what’s going on in your kids day-to-day life to ascertain whether the peer-pressure is helping or breaking him/her.

How You Can Help Kids Deal with Peer Pressure Positively –

  • Teach Them to Say ‘No’

Say NO - Copy

Saying a ‘No’ to something that everyone around you is doing is a little difficult. But teaching your child to take the right decision is very important. One of the best ways to teach is to do a role-play with your kids and train them to say a ‘no’ during various obnoxious situations

  • Build Good Self-Esteem in Your Kids

Self esteem - Copy

Are you too chicken? Is the common phrase used by influencers to prey upon group members. Teach your kids to be high on self-esteem and not to fall prey to such phrases. Studies show that children who are happy inside and feel good about themselves, are more likely to make better choices and resist negative peer pressure. So, do make it a point to appreciate your children for small achievements and reward them positively.

  • Help Them Choose Their Friends Wisely

friends help in saying NO

Children learn a lot from their friends and surroundings during their growth years, it is very important to interact with them regularly to be sure of their learnings. Friends and peer play a very important role in shaping up kid’s behavior. Help your kids choose friends with good moral values, virtues and superior self-esteem – this will go a long way in keeping your child away from unwanted peer pressure and risky behavior.

  • Get Involved in Your Kids’ Lives

talk to your kids - Copy

To make your kids listen to you and follow the rules made by you, it is very important to get involved with them in their lives. Take interest in their friends, their likes, and their fears. Do talk to them about their interest, aspirations, how they are spending their leisure time, who is new on their social network. Getting involved with your kids boost his/her confidence and helps him/her make an informed decision and avoid unnecessary peer pressure.

  • Read and Be Informed

Read and be informed - Copy

Keeping yourself updated with the latest in the worlds of kids is an important key to mould your kids positively. Keep a close watch on how kids this age use the latest technology, how they learn from social media, what are the most influencing factors in their lives, and how they express their anger and non-conformity. The more you know, the better you can equip them to fight the evils of negative peer pressure. We believe, by making little changes to your behavior towards your kids, you can help them to cope up with the evils of negative peer pressure. Interacting with children gives you good insights into what’s cooking in their minds and it can help you to mold your kids positively. Stay updated and keep your kids safe! Don’t forget to comment if you have some more suggestions. Image credits – Google images


How to Cut Down Your Homework Time

Homework is not Evil, You Just Need to Do it RIGHT! Hey Folks! We know how boring it is to drudge yourself for homework. Homework always seems more, even when it is less. It consumes all of your time for playing, watching TV, meeting your buddies and all the stuff around it. Here in this post, we’ll let you know some really handy tips on how you can do your homework more efficiently and take out enough time for your family and yourself.

  • Make the War Plan Right

making-your-to-do-list-13557048 Whenever you receive the homework, UNDERSTAND it right. Make sure you note down the right stuff, you know what are you supposed to do in the homework. CLARIFY the doubts that you have right there with your teacher. You should also ask your teacher to guide you with time approximation for completing the homework.

  • Set a Right Spot to Do Your Work

study table Picking up a quiet and well-lit spot is very important when you start with your homework. A dull and noisy place would distract you and make you feel lazy. You should choose a table or a desk to work on – it keeps you alert, unlike sitting on your bed that makes you sleepy.

  • Be Motivated

motivation1 Pick the time of the day when you are most motivated – everyone has his/her own time when he/she is most motivated. If you are a little less motivated, do pick up the task that is easiest for you to finish up first – This will energize you and boost up your confidence and motivation. You can also queue up some of your favorite tunes to pump up your motivation.

  • Stay Away from Distractions

distraction The whole world seems to play a conspiracy to disturb you when you sit for finishing up your homework, isn’t it? Keep yourself away from all the potential disturbing elements before you sit back to do the most important part of your day. Switch off your PC/laptop if you don’t require it in your homework. If your PC is essential, only keep relevant tabs open… strictly, no cheating here! Say ‘NO’ to social networking websites – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. are really interesting sites to visit, but surely not during your homework time. Keep your mobile on silent mode – texts, WhatsApp messages and promotional emails keep ringing the mobile, make sure you avoid keeping your phone nearby when you do your homework. Let your friends and family know you are working, excuse yourself for some time and you can join them once you are done with your homework. Keep your stationary, schoolbag, notes and textbooks handy, so that you don’t have to get up again and again. This would increase your efficiency and keep you pumped up for the next task.

  • Take Breaks

Break Keep some breathers for yourself between major assignments. Give yourself a break to enjoy some snacks – this will shoot up your energy levels and keep you going for the work ahead. You can stretch a bit during the break to give some rest to your back. Do make sure you don’t end up taking too many or too frequent breaks 🙂 We believe these five pointers will help you concentrate more on your homework and help you finish it up quickly and efficiently. Don’t forget to give us a HIGH FIVE if it’s of your help. You can also share tips that work well with you in the comment section below. Image Credits – Google Images