Stress is normally not a significant problem for children. They can normally think things through and figure them out for themselves, despite some stress. They can usually handle their feelings whether they are feeling good or not and can do what they need to do. They have some stress but handle it fine. Nonetheless, your children may experience more stress than they can comfortably handle. When they do, there are normally observable signs their stress is getting to them. Listen to Cathy’s internal struggle as she tries to mentally manage her building stress and then visualize her behavior as she abruptly leaves the room.
Cathy is feeling very restless and cannot get herself to calm down. She cannot concentrate on anything and is feeling the start of a headache. The past few nights, she tossed and turned for what seemed like hours before falling asleep. Last night, she woke up several times and it took forever to go back to sleep. Waking up was not so bad; but the bad dreams upset her and kept her from going back to sleep. She could not get them off her mind.
“Calm down,” Cathy tells herself. “I think I’m going to be sick.” She thinks her upset stomach is because of something she ate but the more upset she gets, the worse it gets. “Don’t start crying again. I’ve got to get out of here,” she screams to herself. Between her upset stomach and a growing headache, there is no way she can pay attention to what her mother is saying. Without a word, Cathy turns and bolts out of the room.