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How to handle stress in children?

Q: What are the symptoms of stress in 9 to 10 year olds and how should it be handled?

A:Stress in 9-10 year olds manifests in much the same ways as in adults. The symptoms could be physical, psychological or social. Physical symptoms could include the entire range of physical illness such as headaches, fatigue, body-pains, allergies, poor appetite, sleep problems, digestive problems etc. Psychological symptoms could range from depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence and concentration, memory problems, aggression, irritability etc. Social symptoms could include withdrawal, anti-social conduct, aggressiveness and destructiveness, adjustment problems, poor work output etc. Handling of stress in this age group should be a team effort on the part of the child as well as parents, siblings, teachers and others. Others can take care not to impose harsh standards, avoid comparisons and unrealistic expectations. The child himself or herself can be taught by giving good examples of your own adult behaviour, be encouraging, relaxation techniques, positive thinking, and proper eating, exercising and working habits. Taking help from a professional psychologist is recommended if stress symptoms seem to be getting out-of-hand.

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