December 1, 2021

Stress in children: how to explain it? The responsibles ?

Sylvie Sarzaud, former professor of schools and currently sophrologist in Morbihan, wrote a book "I help my child to overcome stress" (Editions Eyrolles). She agreed to answer our questions.

Children are more and more stressed. How do you explain that ?

Children, and adults, actually seem more and more stressed nowadays. Our living conditions are probably responsible. Our daily life imposes difficult rates, which children do not escape. Add to this the weight of a society where the values ​​of mutual aid, listening and family support have been lost over the last decades.

Our material comfort has improved significantly to the detriment of these other values. The race against time, the constant pressure to be always more powerful, mask the real needs of the individuals: the attention that we give and we receive, the self-confidence and in the other, the pleasure to realize this that keeps us dear ... Parents and children evolve in this society, which has placed a heavy strain on them from a very young age. Education, whether it be school family, is more concerned with doing well than well-being.

In today's society, what will most stress a child, a teenager ?

First, we must distinguish between point stress and permanent stress. The first is the consequence of external events to which the child, or theteenager, is struggling to adapt: ​​the arrival of a baby in the family, separation of parents, a move, a change ofschool, the death of a loved one ... The children are momentarily destabilized by the circumstances. Depending on their personality and the environment in which they evolve, they will take more or less time to rebalance.

In some cases, stress develops over time and develops, fueled by bad habits of life that can lead the child to exhaustion ...: when the external causes mentioned above multiply, when the child gets bogged down in his problem without being able to find the answer that suits him. If not supported by adults, the child is unlikely to be able to cope alone.

Finally, the stress sometimes comes from a bad self-image, associated with bad habits of behavior that reinforce negative perceptions. Take for example the anxious child who is stressed on the eve of evaluations: he lacks confidence in him, he thinks he will not, he sleeps badly, he panics during control, he loses his ideas and. .. he gets a bad grade. The result reinforces his beliefs in his incapacity. It's a vicious circle !

Can a child in kindergarten be stressed?

No one is safe from stress ... The entrance to theschool can be a source of great distress for some, especially for those who have never left the bosom before their first school year! Theschool is a place of socialization where the child confronts his very first relational pitfalls: to lend, to share, to negotiate ...

In kindergarten classes, children learn to live together and this is not always smooth. For example, the fear of being insulted or jostled during recess may lead a child to retreat. Conversely, a child who is too sure of himself may feel frustrated at not being able to impose his will on the group. These situations, essential to the evolution of each, become a source of stress if they are lived with too much intensity.

Be careful, not to confuse the nursery with a preparatory class ... Some parents put a heavy pressure on their children from the small section. It is normal to be demanding and attentive to classroom behavior, without bet on performance ...

Teaching Kids Responsibility - Positive Parenting (December 2021)