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How Do I Help My Stressed 7-Year-Old?

My 7-year-old seems stressed all the time. What can I do to help her?

It’s normal for your child to feel a wide range of emotions such as fear, anger, and worry. But when these emotions begin to affect your child’s behavior and daily habits, there might be more significant problems.

Stress is different from anxiety, and anxiety is different from stress. In general, anxiety is characterized by persistent worries that don’t ever seem to go away. On the other hand, stress is your child’s natural and common response to a variety of situations. These situations might include key life changes, things they see as threats, new fears, or even changes in friendships.

Consider these three steps to help your stressed child.

1. Acknowledge

Acknowledging your child’s feelings and emotions is critical to helping your child feel like they’re listened to and seen. Provide your child with reassurance of how much you value and love them.

2. Express

In moments when your child shares his or her feelings of stress or worry, recognize that you have an opportunity to balance your instruction and teaching with listening and support. Try to create paths to releasing stress that involve your child’s favorite activities like exercise or creative arts.

3. Support

Providing support to your child can take many different forms. And this is where you get to pair your creativity with how your child best receives love and affection. Sometimes physical touch shows support better than words. Other times, your child might simply need you to listen and sit with them as they share their feelings.

Remember that you know your child the best. If you think your child needs more help coping with increased stress, call our counseling line at 1-800-A-FAMILY. And to learn more about creating a mentally healthy home for your family, check out more resources.

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If you need further guidance and encouragement, Focus on the Family has a staff of licensed, professional counselors who offer a one-time complimentary consultation from a Christian perspective. They can also refer you to counselors in your area for ongoing assistance.
Reach a Focus on the Family counselor toll-free at 1-855-771-HELP (4357).

Understand How to Respect and Love Your Son Well

"Why doesn’t my son listen to me?" Have you ever asked yourself that? The truth is, how you view your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. We’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Focus on Parenting Podcast

Mom or dad, could you use some encouragement and support? Put your ear buds in for this Christian parenting podcast and get practical, faith-based inspiration through all stages of parenting. Hosted by Dr. Danny Huerta, in every 8 to 15 minute episode, you’ll hear parenting experts share Biblical truths, effective parenting techniques, and useful resources that will help you feel equipped as a mom or dad in today’s culture.
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Learn How to Speak Your Strong-Willed Child's Language

In this free 6-part video series, Cynthia Tobias, author of many popular parenting books including You Can’t Make Me, explains why your strong-willed child thinks in certain ways and gives you effective tools you can use when communicating with him or her. Start today!

Get Equipped With the Truth So
You Can Bring Light to the Lies

Abortion is not an easy subject to talk about. You want to defend the truth, to expose the realities so easily confused during these times. Yet, it is so easy to tense up, to get nervous, to get so concerned with wanting to say the “right thing” that you end up saying nothing at all. If you feel at a loss when these conversations come up, this video series, “8 Lies About Abortion,” can help equip you with the truth, and the confidence to engage in the discussion.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

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