How Do You Know If Your Kids Are Under TOO Much Stress?

Moms know their kids. I like to think I can tell when my kids are stressed even when everyone else thinks they are fine. Their clues are sometimes subtle, sometimes not. One of my children gets quiet and withdrawn and often experiences disruptions in sleep. He usually seems 'in control' so when he seems 'off' he can come across as 'fresh.' But, I know it must be because something is bothering him. He has a really hard time getting his anxiety 'out.' I wait until it's quiet and he'll open up when we are alone-- sometimes. Other times, he works it out on his own. My youngest often gets emotional about little, teeny weeny things. She'll get angry at the margarine because it won't spread on her toast or she'll burst into tears because she can't get her hair quite right. My stepdaughter gets really, really quiet and pulls away. My husband often writes off the instances with our daughters to 'hormones' but I know better. I know it's displaced anxiety. Usually, (OK--not always) I'm right. A day or two later I'll find out there was trouble with friends (or a boy in the case of our oldest) or major stress over a big test.
Mostly, these are normal rites of passage for kids. Everyone goes through stress and each child copes in his/her own way. But sometimes I wonder if there was something 'really' wrong, would I know? I mean, I know my kids. I'd catch the warning signs of bigger trouble, right? Click here for an important and informative article by family therapist Sally Souliere on knowing how to navigate the signs of stress in your kids. After you read it...let me know...what do you think? Are kids under more stress these days? Are the warning signs tough to figure out?
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