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How to Identify Stress in Children and How Play Therapy Can Help

Updated: Oct 3


As parents, we always want our children to be happy and healthy. However, children can also experience stress and anxiety, just like adults. Identifying and addressing stress in young children is important for their mental and emotional well-being. Play therapy is an effective way to help children deal with stress and its effects.



Children may not have the words to express their feelings or may not even understand what they are feeling. As a result, it is important for parents and caregivers to be able to recognize signs of stress in young children.


Some common signs of stress in children include:

  • Changes in sleep patterns

  • Increased irritability or moodiness

  • Changes in appetite or eating habits

  • Regression in behaviors such as bedwetting or thumb-sucking

  • Physical symptoms such as headaches or stomachaches

  • Difficulty concentrating or paying attention

If you notice these signs in your child, it is important to talk to them and identify what might be causing their stress.


Play therapy is a form of therapy that uses play as a means of communication between the child and the therapist. Play therapy can help children work through difficult emotions and experiences in a safe and supportive environment. Through play, children can express their feelings and learn to cope with stress in a healthy way. Some ways that play therapy can help children include:

  • Developing coping skills: Play therapy can help children learn coping skills such as deep breathing and positive self-talk.

  • Building self-esteem: Play therapy can help children build self-esteem and confidence by allowing them to make choices and solve problems in a safe environment.

  • Promoting emotional regulation: Play therapy can help children learn to regulate their emotions and express themselves in a healthy way.

  • Encouraging communication: Play therapy can help children learn to communicate their thoughts and feelings in a safe and supportive environment.

Stress in young children can negatively affect their mental and emotional well-being. Identifying signs of stress and addressing them early is important for the child's overall well-being. Play therapy is an effective way to help children deal with stress and its effects. If you think your child may be experiencing stress, consider seeking the help of a play therapist.


Do you think your Teen or Child could benefit from therapy? Speak to a qualified Play therapist to learn how your Teen or Child could benefit from play therapy, Click here to get in touch today, or if you want to know if Play Therapy could be suitable for your Teen or Child, click here to take our quiz!


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