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Stress In Early Childhood | Parenting

All You Need To Know About Stress In Early Childhood

stress in early childhood


  • How does stress affect a child?
  • How do you relieve stress in children?
  • How do you know if your child is stressed?
  • How can children be helped to cope with stress?
  • What are the signs of stress in a child?
  • What is toxic stress in early childhood?
  • Conclusion.

Childhood means simplicity. Look at the world with a child's eye- it's very beautiful. (credit: Kailash)

At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child's success is the positive involvement of parents. 
(credit: Jane D. Hull)

Childhood is the best time of anyone's life. At some point in time in our life, we all want to go back to our childhood and enjoy those love and affections.

When we are small, we don't have tensions of job, responsibilities, and future. Life is a fun.

As we grow, things start changing and trust me, we are NEVER again the same kid.


Have you ever thought that there are many kids in this world who NEVER want to recall their childhood memories?


I am going to present some data in front of you which is definitely gonna blow your mind.

Yes! I am gonna talk about CHILD ABUSE before I get back to this topic. As a citizen of a proud country, it's my responsibility to TALK SENSE.

stress in childhood
                                                                       credit: American SPCC
As per the data shared by American SPCC, you will be shocked to know that most of the victims are less than 3 years old.

Can you believe it?

Who is responsible- Child or Parent?

Let's talk on some other mind-boggling statistics before we will get back to the discussion of stress in early childhood.

I will be talking about the statistics of one of the most developed country- America in the world.

  • Child abuse reports involved 7.4 million children.
  •  Neglected- 74.8 %.
  • Physically abused-18.2%.
  • Sexually abused-8.5 %.
  • Psychologically maltreated-6.9%.
  • Child abuse is the reason for the death of 5 children every day.
Do you know the impact of childhood abuse?

Just to name a few...

  • Teen pregnancy.
  • Psychological disorder.
  • Risk of STD's.
  • Abused children will continue this horrible cycle by abusing their own children in the future.
There can be many more. Trust me, there is no point in listing down all these numbers in the post until it asks one question to all my readers.

Am I treating my child correctly?

You will be shocked to know that the financial cost of child abuse and neglect in America itself is around $585 billion.

Isn't it shocking?

How can we call ourselves the most developed species on this planet?

I know most of you will read this blog post and forget. There will be many who will be least bothered to even read the post till the end.


My hope resides in those one percent who will NOT only read the post but will also share it to educate the colleagues and friends.

I totally believe in the concept of sharing is caring.

Moving further,

Can you guess the age group and gender of the perpetrators?

  • 83.4% in the age group of 18 and 44 years.
  • 53.7% were women.

Are we playing with the fire?

You are the best person to ask this question to yourself and also give the answer.

It's not only the responsibility of the American government but also of each one of us.

Can we call ourself the most developed and intelligent creature on this planet?

We are making an irreparable damage to our future generation.

It's an old proverb- you reap what you sow.

Do you have a question?

Same as mine?

Yes! What's the solution, right?


Before we jump down to any sort of imaginary solution, let's discuss some of the questions.

How does stress affect a child in early childhood?

Stress can affect your child in multiple ways. A continuous exposure to the stressful environment can not only retard the brain growth but it can completely stop the brain growth. A higher level of cortisol at a young age can affect the physical growth and also weaken the immune system.

How does stress affect the development of the brain in early childhood?

The brain stem is the first part of the brain to develop and also it's the first to respond to perceived threats.

The brain stem plays a crucial role in performing the basic function that is important for an individual's survival.

There is a different mechanism to cope with stress when it comes to fully grown adults.

Frontal lobe takes care of all the stressful situation in adults.

In children, the frontal lobe is NOT developed and so stressful situations are handled by the primitive area of the brain.

Therefore, a child needs a caregiver who can help him to get de-stressed and get back to the normal.

If the child is exposed to prolonged stress then it will lead to the uncontrolled and improper development of the child's brains. There can be a huge possibility that the area of the brain responsible for the emotional control and rational-decision making couldn't be fully developed.

What are the signs of stress in early childhood?

As a responsible parent, you should be aware of the warning signs of an imbalance in the child's brain development.

  • Impulsiveness.
  • Anxiety.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Lack of empathy.
  • Poor problem-solving skills.
Some other generic signs of stress in early childhood are as follows:

  • A headache.
  • Sleeping disturbances.
  • Nightmares.
  • Recurrent bedwetting.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Vague stomach pain.

Before we discuss the remaining questions, please have a look at some of the handpicked articles.

What is toxic stress in early childhood?

effect of stress on development
As the name suggests, toxic stress in early childhood is a kind of prolonged stress like child abuse, exposure to the violent environment, caregiver substance abuse, chronic neglect, family economic hardship without any adult support.

The biggest problem associated with the toxic stress is it disrupts the proper development of the brain architecture and can also have a long-term negative impact on the well being of other organs.

When the toxic stress response is triggered from multiple sources for a long time then it may lead to a lifetime negative impact on the physical as well as the mental health of an individual.

The more you are exposed to the adverse situation and severe stress in your childhood the more is the probability of developing problems like heart disease, anxiety, depression etc in the later stage of your life.

How can children be helped to cope with the stress?

To help children cope with stress, you need to be aware of few things.

Out of a hundred, 13 children are affected by some or other kind of anxiety. It is NOT an easy task to help children cope with stress.

It's really important to keep a note that whether it's a positive or negative change, in both the cases, most of the children will be feeling stressed.

Never overload your children, they need time to relax and rejuvenate.

Act as a true caregiver and make sure that your child talks to you about the problems.

Guide your child by resolving all the queries. Act as a center of positive energy.

It's important to be patient and listen to your child.

Try to inculcate meditation in your child's daily routine. Educate your child about deep breathing, yoga etc.

As a parent use creative visualization to help your child brains to develop fastly and in a balanced way.

Tell every day a story with an embedded positive message.

Give your child these coloring books and puzzles, it has helped a lot of children and will definitely be a stress reliever for your kid.

It is very important to prepare your kids to deal with the mistakes. Try to remember the number of mistakes you did before you reached a perfection level.

A sound sleep is very important for the kids. Even for the proper development and growth of the body, a child should have at least 8 hours of sleep.

Another very important factor is your relation with your spouse. Try to avoid any kind of altercation in front of your kids. One of the important factors of a stressed childhood is the parent's relationship.

Try to maintain a positive environment inside the house. Don't push your child for anything.

Never try to impose your dreams on your child.

It's important for you to manage your own stress and never let your stress or anxiety impact your children.

Conclusion: Stress in early childhood should be managed in an efficient way to prevent future problems. Please let me know your view in the comment section.


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