As your child has grown, chances are you’ve seen them physically uncomfortable a time or two, from minor playground injuries to getting shots at the doctor.

But how does your child handle mental or emotional stress? And how can you help them learn to handle it well?

Stress can come from a lot of different sources, but the internet and social media sites can be particularly stress-inducing for kids.

“Bullying has gone up a notch with cyberbullying,” social worker Bridget McConnell says. “[And] there’s so much access to local and world news and other things on social media that kids’ brains aren’t ready for.”

This is where building resilience in kids comes in, which McConnell talked about at length on the For Health’s Sake podcast. Our conversation covered topics like:

  • What resilience means
  • What it means to have grit
  • The importance of learning to tolerate being uncomfortable
  • What parents can do to encourage resilience
  • How school, teachers and peers can encourage resilience
  • How to model resilience for children

Help your child handle stress

McConnell recommends getting help if your child’s inability to deal with stress is affecting their relationships or their ability to function in school. Your child’s primary care doctor is a great starting point.

Primary care doctors are experienced in diagnosing and treating hundreds of common conditions, including stress and anxiety. They can also refer you to a mental health specialist if necessary.