What Causes Toddlers to Get Stressed Out?
Toddlers are children aged from 12 to 36 months. If you have been around one toddler at least for a day, you will understand how they can be easily stressed out because they are in such a phase of growing up when they need to face countless challenges and changes.
The truth is, numerous parents, relatives, or friends are not aware of the stressed-out moments their toddlers face. How is this possible?
It is possible because we don’t think about learning how to talk as stressful, we don’t see potty training as a hard activity, and most of us are (most of the times) very overwhelmed with our adult ‘more serious’ problems.
In this blog post, I will share some of the most common reasons why your toddler may be stressed out, and of course, mention all those ”little problems” barely anyone thinks of as problems in the first place.
I don’t want to take much of your time, so let’s get straight to the list of reasons why children aged one to three feel vulnerable in some form.
80% of toddlers get stressed out because of these reasons
I am glad that you are still reading. This means that you are finally able to realize what makes your beloved child feel anxious or depressed so that you can solve the problem quickly!
I would start with this one. I was working in a kindergarten for a while. Seeing so many toddlers being very stressed out because their parents were leaving them in some new and ‘strange’ facility left an impact on their behaviors and emotions.
Many of them were very consistently moody, aggressive, anxious, and even depressed.
I remember that one boy was continually sitting in the corner and did not want to talk to anyone. His face was always red because he cried all the time.
When his mother came, I told her how her son isn’t feeling okay here and how I would suggest some strategies so he can accept the separation more natural, but the mother just told me how we all went through that and how that was all normal.
Okay, maybe we all went through that (but I don’t think so), yet, you need to understand your child and explain to them what they are going through.
Parents also find this time very exhausting (most of the mothers are going back to work), so they forget how their toddlers may be stressed-out as well.
Breaking Their Routines
Any family change that matters to a toddler may bring an ocean of new ‘bad’ feelings. The truth is, kids (and especially toddlers) really like routine, and they always want to feel safe in their environment.
Therefore, if you have decided to move somewhere else, your beloved ‘baby’ won’t be instantly happy with the change (even if it seems like it’s better for you).
I would highly recommend taking his favorite things into that new place and decorating your home, at least to do something similar as it was once before (until your child gets comfortable with that).
It may also happen that you and your partner decide to become parents once again (a second time, third, fourth, or you name it).
I know that parents (and mostly mothers) don’t have the same amount of time for a toddler now because of a baby, but at least try to empathize with your child rather than complaining about how you don’t have time for anything anymore (or even yelling).
It was your choice to move somewhere else, have another child or whatever significant change came, so you must deal with those changes, and understand your toddler.
Illnesses, death in the family, and even an end of the parent’s career may also be the causes that stress toddlers out.
Learning New Things
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, some things you may consider healthy and biological may impact your toddler and bring them anxiety.
These are mostly learning how to walk, talk, and have to be potty trained. All that you have to do is to stay maximally patient and provide support (until your toddler becomes confident enough).
Most parents don’t believe that their feelings affect their toddlers
Okay, I have told you above about the main reasons why toddlers feel stressed-out, but there are some other things barely anyone thinks of.
If you want to understand your toddler completely, check out what other behaviors (or events) may cause your child to become anxious or depressed.
Some world events may completely change the way your child thinks about this planet. Those may be natural disasters, catastrophes, criminal actions, murders, or you name it.
If your toddler sees that or hears about that on TV, know how they won’t just forget about it and move on (like adults do most of the time).
Keep in mind how toddlers are susceptible, and their brains are now in the most vulnerable place that they will ever be in.
You Are Stressed Out
”Happy mommy – happy baby” is not a cliche. I don’t like only to talk to moms because I know that you most of the time feel like how everything is in your hands and how you are an only parent because almost everyone always talks to moms (and especially when something goes wrong, right?).
So, the point is that your feelings can be reflected in your child.
If you are feeling anxious, depressed, angry, or moody, know that your toddler may become stressed-out because of that.
Find some time for yourself (at least a half an hour in a day – I know, it’s not easy) to think about those worries. Make that ‘worry time’ and let those worries there, don’t bring them in your toddler’s room.
If you are not able to cope with such feelings alone, be sure to join some supportive mother group or get a professional’s advice.
Signs To Watch Out For
Watch out for signs and symptoms of a stressed-out toddler. Those are often the following: changes in sleeping and eating habits, withdrawn, anger, sadness, anxiety, repeated actions like pulling their hair or chewing their fingers, nightmares and new phobias, headaches, and stomach aches and changed bowel movements.
Are you now ready to recognize what makes your toddler stressed out?
Will this help you to finally understand your beloved child completely?
I would be happy if I helped you!
Written By Dragana Drobnjak.
More About Toddlers: Parenting Toddlers, Tips #1