Stress and Resilience Part 3: How Stress Shows Up in the Body

Photo of Stress & Resilience ME Guest Megan AppelwickFor both children and adults, stress creates not only an emotional response but a physical response in the body. From everyday effects to longterm health complications, our bodies reflect our state of mind. With young children whose communication skills are still not well-developed, adults often mistake behavioral signs of stress for “bad behavior.” Because of this, parents might miss an opportunity to address the source of the stress, whether it is a traumatic event or a more ordinary challenge in the home or classroom.


This week’s guest, Megan Appelwick, an occupational therapist at St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development (SDC), helps unpack the way stress can manifest in the body. She also discusses how to identify behaviors that may be tied to stress and outlines strategies for helping children who are struggling. Highlighting how occupational therapy can be an effective complement to mental health services, Megan offers practical – and playful – ways to help both parents and kids learn to navigate difficult transitions and challenging circumstances. Her tips include healthy stress-management skills to last a lifetime. Marti & Erin thank SDC for providing this informative 3-part series on Stress and Resilience, and for being a long-time supporting partner of the Mom Enough®.



What useful tips did you hear in the discussion with this week’s guest, Megan Applewick? How do those tips differ from the way you have responded to what seemed like intentional “bad behavior” on your child’s part?



STRESS AND RESILIENCE PART 2: PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIPS AS A BUFFER TO STRESS. How do you know when your baby or young child is experiencing ongoing stress? And how does the way you manage your own stress affect how your child learns to handle stress and build resilience? This episode of Mom Enough® is the second of a 3-part series on Stress and Resilience, brought to you by St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development. Therapist and Senior Program Director Paula Frisk highlights the importance of the early parent-infant relationship as both a buffer against toxic stress and a powerful means by which young children learn to regulate emotions and reflect on their own feelings and actions.


STRESS & RESILIENCE PART 1: STRESS, TOXIC STRESS AND HOW TO ADDRESS IT. Melissa Williams, therapist and program director at St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development, joins Marti & Erin for this first podcast of a three-part series that will help you learn how stress affects your child and you. Melissa discusses the stress response in children, toxic stress and its effect on children’s development, and how we can respond to the effects of toxic stress.


FROM CO-REGULATION TO SELF-REGULATION: PARENT-CHILD INTERACTIONS THAT PREPARE OUR CHILDREN FOR LIFE. Tune into the first episode of our previous series on self-regulation with Melissa Williams from St. David’s Center. This engaging and practical discussion highlights what is involved in co-regulation, with an emphasis on how to show, tell and practice together with our children. Melissa also highlights the importance of “rupture and repair,” describing how we can admit our mistakes at those times when we get it wrong with our kids (as we all do!), say we are sorry and tell our child what we will try to do differently the next time.


❉ DISCOVERING WHAT WILL HELP YOUR CHILD DEVELOP SELF-REGULATION SKILLS: DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS. One of the major developmental tasks in early childhood is self-regulation, which includes establishing healthy patterns of eating, sleeping and other routines. Even as older children and adults, we struggle with regulation at times, which can disrupt learning, relationships and other aspects of our lives. Robin Campbell and Cheryl Lundsgaard from St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development, shed light on what self-regulation means, how we can help our children become self-regulated, and how important it is to discover what works best for each unique member of our family.

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