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What are common reactions to stress in children ages 5 to 11?

Children in this age group commonly react to stress by acting out, sleeping poorly, and showing a decrease in school performance. Some kids will regress in their potty training and developmental skills. Others may become more parent-dependent and need more family time.

Any of the following can be normal reactions when your child is exposed to stress:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Academic difficulty
  • Unreasonable fear
  • Gastrointestinal upset, headache/migraine
  • Regression of behavior
  • Avoidance of social interaction
  • Distraction, lack of focus
  • Irritable, combative
  • Withdrawn

You should consider professional help if you see:

  • Any reactions to stress that are prolonged or severe
  • Repeated bedwetting
  • Overly anxious, unable to relax
  • Unable to leave parent(s)
  • Bouts of crying unrelated to any event

From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

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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.