How can I help if my child feels stressed?

Not all stress is bad. Sometimes it helps us manage challenge, such as focusing for an exam. But there are times when stress can make things more difficult.

Let your child know there’s no need to worry about feeling stressed. You can show them how to manage these emotions in a healthy way.

Check in with your child

Check in with your child often to see how they’re doing. Notice how they respond during times of change or pressure. Make sure they know you’re there to talk if they want.

Your child’s day-to-day lifestyle can also affect how they feel in the first place. Are they eating well, sleeping well, and exercising? Try to help them develop healthy habits over time.

Read our advice on spotting the signs of stress.

Help them develop good habits

Encourage your child to:

  • Talk to others about their worries.
  • Set realistic goals and expectations.
  • Value who they are.
  • See uncertainty as part of life, rather than something to worry about.
  • Notice what activities they find relaxing and use these to wind down.

Suggest activities to ease stress

If your child or teenager is open to ideas, see if you can give them some tactics to reduce stress. This could include:

If they sometimes feel anxious too, read our advice on how to support your child with anxious feelings.

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This advice was written by our experienced Parent Talk coaches. Parent Talk is a free online service for parents and carers, provided by the charity Action for Children. For more advice, message our parenting coaches with our online chat.

More on talking about feelings

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