Skip to main content

Top 10 Sources of Stress for Kids

What causes stress in kids? The top 10 sources of stress might surprise you.
mom comforting kid with stress
Updated: December 1, 2022

In addition to minor aggravations like running late or having a bad hair day, kids (like the rest of us) have to cope with major life events. These events don't have to be negative to be stressful. Remember: the key component to stress is change.

More: The Hallmarks of a Stressed Child

Parent having problems. 

When adults have problems, it can affect their kids in a big way. If you and your spouse are constantly fighting, it could be causing stress on your child. Parents that display signs of stress whether it's related to their marriage, finances, job, or something else, could unknowingly be putting that stress on their children. 

Fight with a friend or a sibling.

It's normal for kids to fight with their siblings and even their friends, but if the fight does not resolve itself in due time, it could be causing stress on your child. Nobody likes to fight, but for kids it can be an extremely stressful situation as they may not have dealt with it before and may not know how to handle their emotions.

Taking a test.

There is a lot of academic pressure put on kids these days. Taking an important test could cause your child stress and may even manifest itself physically in symptoms like stomaches, headaches, and more.

Wondering if someone thinks you're attractive (teens especially).

It's important to discuss self image and self esteem with your child. While it is most common for teens to be stressed about their looks, it can happen to kids of all ages. 

Not having enough privacy.

Just like adults need  "me time" every once in a while, so do kids. This can become an issue when parents are overly controlling and do not give their kids enough independence. 

Birth of a brother or sister.

The birth of a sibling is a major life change for children of all ages. It can turn their world upside down. How will it impact their relationship with their parents? How will it impact their daily routine? In the eyes of a child, there is a great deal of uncertainty when a new baby is born which can cause stress. It is especially stressful for first-born children who are used to being the center of attention.

Moving to a new school.

Moving is never easy. While you might be stressed about the packing, unpacking, and logistics of moving, it's important to acknowledge how it will impact your child. Moving to a new home means a new school and new friends, which can cause a great deal of stress on kids.

Re/marriage of a parent.

It's never easy on kids when someone new enters the picture, but a remarriage of a parent can be extremely stressful on children. They might be wondering what this new person's role will be. Will they replace one of their parents? It's important to involve your child and make them feel comfortable from the start of your new relationship.

Not having enough money.

Although this seems like a problem parents will have to deal with, it can also negatively affect the child. When parents are stressed about money, it almost always trickles down the children. 

A teacher who doesn't like you.

In an ideal world, teachers would not play favorites but it does happen. If a child feels like he is being victimized by his teacher, or the teacher is favoring other students, it can cause a great deal of stress school-related stress.

For more tips on your child's health and wellness, check our our Pinterest board:

Source: Mind/Body Medical Institute

FamilyEducation Editorial Staff

About FamilyEducation's Editorial Team

FamilyEducation is a trusted leader in parenting and pregnancy… Read more

Join the Family

Your partner in parenting from baby name inspiration to college planning.