Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Don't Let Stress Win

We have a winner!

The winner of the fantasy football book giveaway is MAC Mom. Congrats! MAC Mom is the mother of a not-quite-one-year-old boy and is wondering about potty training. My advice? Wait it out. Because potty training can be stressful, and our boys are stressed out enough already.

(Like that segue?)

Boys today are anxious, and it's not just the potty training ones. But how can you tell if your son is stressed out? According to Dr. Michele Borba, signs of stress include:

Physical Signs

•Headache, neck aches and backaches
•Nausea, diarrhea, constipation, stomachache, vomiting
•Shaky hands, sweaty palms, feeling shaky, lightheadedness
•Trouble sleeping, nightmares
•Change in appetite
•Frequent colds, fatigue

Emotional or Behavioral Signs

•New or reoccurring fears; anxiety and worries
•Trouble concentrating; frequent daydreaming
•Restlessness or irritability
•Social withdrawal, unwilling to participate in school or family activities
•Moodiness; sulking; or inability to control emotions
•Nail biting; hair twirling; thumb-sucking; fist clenching; feet tapping
•Acting out, anger, aggressive behaviors such as tantrums, disorderly conduct
•Regression or baby-like behaviors
•Excessive whining or crying
•Clinging, more dependent, won’t let you out of his sight

Of course, none of these are fail-safe markers of stress. The key is to know your son. What's normal for him? If you know his normal, and something changes, that's a clue. Figure out what's going on.

Tomorrow, we'll talk about some ways to help your sons handle stress. Meanwhile, I'd like to hear from you. How can you tell when your son is stressed out?


  1. Thanks. I am glad you chose my question. I can tell my son is stressed when he starts banging aggressively on something. He has it out for my cell phone for some reason and likes to press the button to get the screen to light up. When I lock my keys on the cell he gets frustrated that it does not light up and he ends up banging on it and throwing it.

  2. MAC Mom, Has your son found the baby button yet? That's what we always called it when the baby somehow manages to find and push whatever button it is on an electronics device (phone, remote, etc) that makes the darn thing not work anymore. We've had it happen more times than we care to count!