Whilst every child suffers tummy aches, feel overly tired and have the odd tantrum from time to time but sometimes these can be forewarning of other underlying issues.

Children feel stress too but often without the ability to clearly understand or communicate their feelings it comes out in different ways.

Keeping track and paying closer attention to recurring complaints and issues your child is having helps you to identify and help them deal with the underlying cause.

Things to look out for…

  • Tummy aches before and after school
  • Out of character behaviour such as shouting, crying or screaming
  • Over tiredness
  • Problems sleeping
  • Recurring headaches
  • Unexplained lethargy

If you notice any of these that seem to be recurring then speak calmly and lovingly to your child. Offer reassurance that if there’s anything they’re feeling it’s better to talk about it.

Children often internalise their feelings and it’s crucially important your child can work through their thoughts and feelings in a safe and managed way. Appropriate analogies can be very helpful to children opening up to you, comparing a situation to something they already understand can be the key to unlocking a closed door.

Try this… carrying more and more feelings around with us is like… “adding more and more books to our school bag, or a shopping bag that we keep putting items into, eventually what happens to the bag?” So when we feel something, instead of carrying it around and making ourselves feel heavy, we happily talk about it, deal with it and then let it go.

By Annette Du Bois