Children and Stress What Teachers Can Do
Adapted  from the following sources <ul><li>“ Helping Children Cope with Stress” Debord, Karen. No date for publication li...
What is Stress? <ul><li>“ Stress is a life event or situation that causes imbalance in an individual’s life. An unhealthy ...
<ul><li>“ Most of us probably think that childhood is a…” carefree time “yet children can suffer extreme stress.” Ruffin  ...
Types of Stressors Can Vary <ul><li>Birth of a sibling </li></ul><ul><li>Moving to a new house </li></ul><ul><li>Illness a...
Children can also suffer stress due to national concerns <ul><li>Natural disasters </li></ul><ul><li>Famines </li></ul><ul...
How a child reacts to stress <ul><li>“ Reactions to stress vary with the child’s stage of development, ability to cope, le...
Preschoolers and Toddlers <ul><li>Symptoms may include </li></ul><ul><li>Irritability </li></ul><ul><li>Anxiety </li></ul>...
Elementary School Children <ul><li>Reactions to stress in elementary age children can consist of </li></ul><ul><li>Withdra...
Children who live in supportive environments and develop a range of coping strategies become more resilient. Resiliency is...
<ul><li>“ It is not necessary to be a therapist to help children cope with stress. One key element is …a stress-free envir...
“ Social Support means people to lean on during difficult times.” Debord 3 <ul><li>What teachers can do </li></ul><ul><li>...
“ Children must learn to think through a problem.” Debord 3 <ul><li>Educators can: </li></ul><ul><li>Remain calm in stress...
Practical Solutions for Environmental Design <ul><li>Use stories and books to encourage discussion about feelings and ways...
Foresee Stressful Events <ul><li>Teachers can:  </li></ul><ul><li>Identify what could cause stress and plan ways to work t...
<ul><li>“ As adults, we can make sure we do not add to children’s stress by expecting them to act in adult ways. We can pr...
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F:\Educationprofessional\Education\Class Assignments Notes\Ecd 145 Guidance Of Young Children\Presentation\Children And Stress

  1. 1. Children and Stress What Teachers Can Do
  2. 2. Adapted from the following sources <ul><li>“ Helping Children Cope with Stress” Debord, Karen. No date for publication listed http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/fcs/pdfs/fcs457.pdf accessed July 2, 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Stress and Children” www.bmcc.edu/Headstart/As_I_Am/stress_children.htm accessed July 2 , 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Children and Stress: Coping Strategies to Guide Children” Ruffin, Novella j. No date for original publication listed. www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/350/350-054/350-054.html accessed 7/2/10 </li></ul><ul><li>and </li></ul><ul><li>Guidance of Young Children . Marian Marion. 124-126 </li></ul><ul><li>and </li></ul><ul><li>Personal conversations with Susan Rollings, Masters of Education; Ellen Lebson, Masters of Education; and Patricia Stevens, Masters of Social Work </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is Stress? <ul><li>“ Stress is a life event or situation that causes imbalance in an individual’s life. An unhealthy response to stress occurs when the demands of the stressor exceed an individual’s coping ability. Often stress results from something that is beyond our control. Control has a great deal to with levels of stress.” DeBord 1. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>“ Most of us probably think that childhood is a…” carefree time “yet children can suffer extreme stress.” Ruffin </li></ul>
  5. 5. Types of Stressors Can Vary <ul><li>Birth of a sibling </li></ul><ul><li>Moving to a new house </li></ul><ul><li>Illness and Death of family member </li></ul><ul><li>Divorce and Remarriage of parents </li></ul><ul><li>Family violence-abuse </li></ul>
  6. 6. Children can also suffer stress due to national concerns <ul><li>Natural disasters </li></ul><ul><li>Famines </li></ul><ul><li>Wars and Cultural Conflicts </li></ul>
  7. 7. How a child reacts to stress <ul><li>“ Reactions to stress vary with the child’s stage of development, ability to cope, length of the time the stressor continues, intensity of the stressor, and the degree of support from family, friends, and community” Debord 1 </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>“ The two most frequent indicators of stress are change in behavior and regression of behavior. Children under stress” can change their behavior and react to the stressor by doing things that are not normal for that individual child.” Debord 1 </li></ul>
  8. 8. Preschoolers and Toddlers <ul><li>Symptoms may include </li></ul><ul><li>Irritability </li></ul><ul><li>Anxiety </li></ul><ul><li>Uncontrollable crying </li></ul><ul><li>Trembling with fright </li></ul><ul><li>Eating or sleeping problems </li></ul><ul><li>Regressing to infantile behavior ie sucking thumb, wetting themselves if already toilet trained </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of being alone </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of being separated from primary caregiver </li></ul><ul><li>Withdrawal </li></ul><ul><li>Aggressive behavior (including biting, hitting, kicking) </li></ul><ul><li>Acute sensitivity to sudden or loud noises </li></ul><ul><li>Nightmares </li></ul><ul><li>Being more accident prone </li></ul><ul><li>“ Helping Children Cope with Stress” Debord 2 </li></ul>
  9. 9. Elementary School Children <ul><li>Reactions to stress in elementary age children can consist of </li></ul><ul><li>Withdrawal </li></ul><ul><li>Feelings of being unloved </li></ul><ul><li>Being distrustful </li></ul><ul><li>Not paying attention in school </li></ul><ul><li>Having difficulty naming their feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Disconnecting from friends and teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Excessive worrying about the future </li></ul><ul><li>Head or stomachaches </li></ul><ul><li>Sleep problems </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of appetite </li></ul><ul><li>Need to urinate frequently -a “nervous peeer” as my grandmother would say </li></ul><ul><li>“ Helping Children Cope with Stress” DeBord 2 </li></ul>
  10. 10. Children who live in supportive environments and develop a range of coping strategies become more resilient. Resiliency is the ability to bounce back from stress and crisis.” Debord 2 <ul><li>Factors that can create a safety net for children in times of crisis: </li></ul><ul><li>Healthy relationship with at least one adult </li></ul><ul><li>Well-developed social skills </li></ul><ul><li>Well-developed problem-solving skills </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to act independently </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of purpose and future </li></ul><ul><li>At least one coping strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of positive self-esteem and personal responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Religious commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to focus attention </li></ul><ul><li>Special interests and hobbies </li></ul><ul><li>Debord 2 </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>“ It is not necessary to be a therapist to help children cope with stress. One key element is …a stress-free environment. A stress free environment is based on social support, having the ability to think through problems, and being able to anticipate stress and learn ways to avoid it.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Helping Children Cope with Stress” Debord 3 </li></ul>
  12. 12. “ Social Support means people to lean on during difficult times.” Debord 3 <ul><li>What teachers can do </li></ul><ul><li>Observe children on daily basis for one or two weeks to look for patterns of behavior that seem outside the norm for that individual child. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage children in positive manner. </li></ul><ul><li>Let child know it is ok to feel scared, angry, or alone. Give children the names for their feelings and words to express their feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Have children view situation more positively. </li></ul><ul><li>Structure activities that encourage cooperation not competition and that allow children to go at their own pace. </li></ul><ul><li>Talk about the issues. Other children who feel comfortable sharing their feelings can discuss their experiences-this may encourage a child to open up if they feel someone can understand their stress. </li></ul><ul><li>Involve other adults in the community-this can be other teachers at the school, directors (or principals), or even ministers. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep the lines of communication open with parents or guardians of the child. Discuss your concerns with them in a parent meeting. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for professional help if necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Stress and Children” www.bmcc.edu/Headstart/As_I_Am/stress_children.htm </li></ul><ul><li>“ Helping Children Cope with Stress” Debord, Karen. No date for publication listed http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/fcs/pdfs/fcs457.pdf accessed July 2, 2010 </li></ul>
  13. 13. “ Children must learn to think through a problem.” Debord 3 <ul><li>Educators can: </li></ul><ul><li>Remain calm in stressful situations, modeling appropriate behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>Be proactive. Schedule plenty of playtime, inform children when transitions are about to occur, and plan activities when children can play out their feelings. See below for practical applications </li></ul><ul><li>Develop thinking skills. Encourage children to think about the consequences of their behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>Help children tell reality from fantasy. “No, you did not cause your parents’ divorce.” </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on the stressor, not the child. Model the idea of talking about the problem and coming up with a realistic solution. </li></ul><ul><li>Find time each day to talk to the child. </li></ul><ul><li>Give the child some degree of control (with acceptable limitations). </li></ul><ul><li>Debord 3 </li></ul>
  14. 14. Practical Solutions for Environmental Design <ul><li>Use stories and books to encourage discussion about feelings and ways to cope. </li></ul><ul><li>Use art for physical expression of feelings. Adults have stress balls-children can pound play dough, paint a picture, play at the water table, or run their hands through sand. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide dolls, boxes, toy telephones, puppets, blocks, cars, and other things so children can bring out feelings. </li></ul><ul><li>Incorporate a “resting space” into the classroom so overly stressed children can have some time alone. Include soft pillows, animals or dolls to hold, and headphones to listen to soothing music. </li></ul><ul><li>Teach deep breathing exercises or basic yoga techniques in order to relax and de-stress children. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Helping Children Cope with Stress” Debord, Karen. No date for publication listed </li></ul><ul><li> http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/fcs/pdfs/fcs457.pdf accessed July 2, 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Guidance of Young Children . Marian Marion. 124-26 </li></ul><ul><li>Personal conversations with Susan Rollings, Masters of Education; Ellen Lebson, </li></ul><ul><li>Masters of Education; and Patricia Stevens, Masters of Social Work </li></ul>
  15. 15. Foresee Stressful Events <ul><li>Teachers can: </li></ul><ul><li>Identify what could cause stress and plan ways to work through it. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage children to be proud for having a special skill or interest. This can serve as a point of pride or self-esteem. </li></ul><ul><li>Teach conflict resolution strategies. Help children work through alternative ways to solve a problem. </li></ul><ul><li>“ If we can foresee an event, we can often block it as a stressor.”-Debord 3 </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>“ As adults, we can make sure we do not add to children’s stress by expecting them to act in adult ways. We can praise, be positive, seek positive solutions, help children name their feelings, teach fairness, help children learn to like themselves, be patient, teach honesty, and give lots of love and encouragement, particularly during difficult times.” </li></ul><ul><li>Debord 3 </li></ul>
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