Signs of stress in children

Children feel the same stresses as adults; however, when they are anxious and stressed it often is displayed differently. Here are some signs to be aware of:

  • BEHAVIOR REGRESSION: Children may display behaviors you thought they had outgrown. Look for unusual behaviors, such as needing a special toy for comfort, bedwetting or baby talk.
  • CHANGES IN EATING AND SLEEPING: Children will show either a sharp increase or decrease in appetite. Your child may experience difficulties falling asleep, sleeping longer than usual or nightmares.
  • ACTING OUT: Your child may start pushing boundaries, displaying aggression, not following directions or arguing with family members. Consult your child’s healthcare provider to determine the best steps for addressing these behaviors.

—School of Psychology program, College of Education, Health and Human Services

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