It's very hard to cope in times of stress. Children are less able to cope with stress because of their limited life experience. Here are some signs that your child may be having trouble :
Agitated behavior, such as crying or thumb sucking
A change in their normal eating, sleeping, or bathroom habits
Separation anxiety, such as clinging, refusing to sleep alone, or wanting to be held all the time
Sleep problems and nightmares
Lapses in toilet training, dressing, or self-feeding skill. For instance, a child who is potty trained may start having accidents.
Withdrawal from family or friends
Makes negative comments about self
Verbal and physical aggression
Repeated episodes of sadness
Acting out traumatic events in play
Behavior changes (the quiet child may become frantic and the energetic child may become lethargic)
Physical problems, such as headaches, stomachaches, or dizziness
More dependence on parents or caregivers
Resentment of unfairness of situation, blaming
Trouble with peers
Unrealistic expectations of self and others
Concern with body image
Frustration and rebellion
Reluctance to trust or open self to others
Feeling hopeless, that life is meaningless
Poor impulse control, easily frustrated
Drug and alcohol abuse
Be aware of your child’s activity on social media sites and any possibilities of online bullying. Consult with tech specialists if you aren't certain how to monitor and protect your child's online presence. In addition, work closely with your child’s teachers to ensure a safe, respectful school environment.
Any abnormal, ongoing behavior should be checked by a mental health provider. It often helps to get professional care when you are concerned or unsure what do next. If one or more of these behaviors continues over a long period of time, professional help may be needed.
Contact your child's healthcare provider to talk about these changes or get a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist. If the behavior problems are severe enough, go to the emergency room. If your child talks about suicide, has a plan and the means to carry it out, take them to the emergency room or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (800-273-8255) right away. Take all comments about suicide seriously.