Stress in Children

Click HERE to listen to Dr Traeger's "Medical Minute" on Stress in Children

Text from the "Medical Minute" on Stress:
Hello, this is Aaron Traeger, pediatrician with Advocate Medical Group. Stress impacts everyone at every age and stage, but for children it can be hard to put feelings into words. Stressed children can show a range of behaviors including butterflies in the stomach, passive avoidance, or down right irritability. Parents can usually tell when their children are stressed. Figuring out what the cause is can be a bit more difficult. Start with open ended non-judgmental questions and state that you see that stress is building up. Help them understand their temperament by saying things like, "I see that you react pretty strongly to stress" or "I know that you like to take your time with decisions." This helps foster insight into their patterns. Once the conversation is going identify the problem and work on solutions together. Sometimes this means that commitments need to be thinned out or that the family needs to re-evaluate its own stress level. Sometimes, despite the best work of parents a new take on the problem is a good idea. Speak with teachers, other trusted adults or seek out family counseling.

For more information call your pediatrician, especially if you feel that the reaction to stress may be more than normal or part of anxiety or depression. To find a pediatrician go to With the Advocate Medical Group Medical Minute, this is Dr Aaron Traeger.