What is the difference between good and bad stress in children?

Blanca Orellana, PhD
Plenty of scenarios can cause stress, good or bad, in a child’s life.

An example of "good" stress:
  • A student may feel anxious about giving a class presentation, but this "good" stress can be used to inspire him to focus and prepare for the challenge.
An example of “bad” stress:
  • -A child feels so overwhelmed with a problem at home or at school that it interferes with his ability to function normally.
In these situations, the body activates a “fight-or-flight” response, resulting in increased focus, strength and alertness. Once the child learns how to recognize a stressful situation, he can begin to make good decisions when managing stress.

This content originally appeared online at UCLA Health.

Continue Learning about School Age Child Emotional Health

How can I help my child who is worried about starting a new school year?
Don't underestimate the power of talking with your child to ease his or her worries about starting a...
More Answers
How does my behavior affect my child?
Charles J. Sophy, MDCharles J. Sophy, MD
You are the primary influencer in your child’s life.  Your behavior does significantly affect your c...
More Answers
How can I teach compassion to my child?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
When you have a baby, there's no questIon - She's the most important thing in the world to you. ...
More Answers
How Are Different Child Temperaments Dealt With?
How Are Different Child Temperaments Dealt With?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.