msn.com: Ask the Pediatrician, How to cope with stress and violence at home
By Dr. Maya Ragavan and Dr. Kimberly Randell
We know that stress and conflict happen in relationships. This can sometimes include emotional, physical, sexual and financial abuse or controlling behaviors. As pediatricians, we are here to support you and your family.
This information may be helpful to you, your family, your friends or others in your community who are experiencing stress and violence at home.
We want to start with this: Being a parent takes a huge amount of love and hard work. It is so important to remember that parents who experience violence do a great job caring for their children. But children can unfortunately experience stress when relationships are stressed.
Signs of stress can look different depending on the age of the child. Babies may be fussy, experience changes to their eating or sleep habits, or have trouble learning to walk or speak. Toddlers may have tantrums, challenges learning new skills or difficulty sleeping. Older children and teenagers may be sad, irritable, worried all the time, disinterested in eating, having trouble sleeping or getting stomachaches or headaches. Stress can show up in children in many other ways, too.
Some ways you can help your child cope when relationships are stressed:
— Help your child develop healthy routines, like reading before bedtime, eating breakfast and brushing their teeth in the morning.
— Talk to your child about things they are happy about or thankful for. Do fun things with them and celebrate their accomplishments.
— Practice focused breathing with your child. In a safe space, help your child slowly take deep breaths in and out to help them calm down.
— Connect your child to programs and groups that help them find spaces to talk and connect with other young people and supportive adults.
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