Helping Children Cope with Stress
“In many ways, stress is a normal and unavoidable part of life,” writes Jennifer Fiechtner. Many families deal with unpredictable schedules, multiple jobs, alternate caregiving arrangements, or other challenging situations. This instability can have a profound impact on young children and may affect their behavior in your classroom.
However, learning how to cope with challenges and adversity is a vital part of healthy development which cannot be missed. “When we experience stress, all sorts of things happen in our bodies—our heart rate and blood pressure go up, and there is an increase in stress hormones. Over time, these changes can cause permanent damage to the brain and body if the stress response is not mitigated.”
When a child deals with stress or trauma within a supportive environment, they develop a healthy emotional response system which will prepare them for future challenges. But without the support of caring adults, childhood adversity can have lifelong negative repercussions.