What does stress look like for a child?

What can stress look like? 

Children can withdraw, act out, demonstrate difficulties in learning new skills, processing information, solving problems. We must look beyond the behavior- many things are going on inside the child

Stress has a profound effect on children’s physical, emotional and mental health

By helping children learn positive coping strategies to deal with stress, you can help build their resiliency and prevent stress from escalating to distress, anxiety and meltdowns.

Bodies– tense muscles, headaches, rapid heart beat, disturbed sleep

Mind– poor concentration, forgetfulness, difficulty problem solving, easily distracted, confusion

Emotions– fear, anxiety, sadness, worry, hyper sensitive, withdrawn, difficulty regulating emotions

Behaviors- whining, crying, nail biting, day dreaming, fighting with others, overly cautious, poor school performance, eating more/less than usual, bullying, not listening, not participating, detatched/withdrawn

Most importantly:  Watch for children who seem different from their normal behavior or habits


Students who can recognize, identify and talk about feelings are less likely to reach the point where they act out their strong emotions with disruptive behaviors.


Information interpreted from Psychology Foundation of Canada :: Kids Have Stress Too!®