When Max started kindergarten, he began to have trouble falling asleep at night. He often complained that his stomach hurt during the day. His parents attributed his behavior to irritability. But in fact, Max was showing the classic symptoms of stress.
A five year old exhibiting stress? The idea runs counter to the popular conception of kindergarten as a time of fun and games. But in fact, children today do experience stress at a very early age.
Why so much stress? Think about it from a child’s perspective. Children today are carefully taught not to talk to strangers and about “good touching” and “bad touching.” A child’s activities is often organized on an hourly calendar because “it’s not safe” to simply send children out to play. Parents are even uncomfortable letting children walk around the block unsupervised.
This alone would tend to create stress in children who, by nature, clamor for freedom. But along with a loss of freedom comes a barrage of upsetting information. Children at an early age begin hearing about and seeing world disasters as they are instantly beamed into the home. Worse, parents often have no time to process their own anxiety to decide what is appropriate to tell children.Therapist Directory.