As parents, stress is often considered to be a part of life. With bills to be paid, a home life, social life, and a career, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. However, sometimes we forget that even though childhood seems carefree, there are many events that can place stress on a child. Pediatrician Michelle L. Bailey says that the first step in determining whether or not your child is stressed is by asking them directly. This will help you find what sparks the stress in the first place. For example:

·      What does the word “stress” mean to you?

·      How do you know when you’re stressed?

·      What causes you to worry or feel stressed?

·      What do you do to feel better when you’re stressed?

Secondly, Bailey recommends keeping an eye out for physical or behavioral changes that may suggest your child is feeling stressed. These include headaches, rapid heartbeat, fatigue, anxiety, social isolation, emotional outbursts, aggression or trouble concentrating.

Childhood stress can have negative effects on both the emotional and physical wellbeing of your child. As Bailey points out, chronic stress can even increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. For ways to help your child cope, read our following blog post, “How can I help my child deal with their stress?”


Tartakovsky, M. (2012). Signs Your Child is Stressed & 5 Ways to Help. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 10, 2012, from