Schoolchildren regularly using the word ‘stress’, research suggests

Nine in 10 children often use the word stress, new data suggests Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA

Nine in 10 schoolchildren often use the word stress, new data suggests.

The research by author and behaviour coach Lorraine Thomas also suggests youngsters aged eight to 11 felt they were better at handling stress than their parents.

A survey of 1,000 children in England found that when asked how regularly they used the word, 90% said “often”.

One child said Alexa – a virtual assistant developed by Amazon – managed stress better than a parent because “it says things calmly, doesn’t get annoyed”.

Sixty-one per cent of the respondents said teachers managed stress well, 29% said children and 10% said parents.

Ninety per cent of the children felt their parents are often “not there” because they are on their phone.

Full details of the research will be shared at the University of Buckingham and International Positive Education Network (IPEN) Ultimate Wellbeing in Education Conference on March 21.

Mrs Thomas said: “Children are quite clear about who manages stress well.

“They say teachers come out tops, then children themselves – and parents at the bottom. It is their mothers and fathers who seem most stressed and who can’t handle it.

“One child, when asked who handles stress the best, said it had to be ‘Alexa’.”

She added: “One of the very best lessons we can teach our children at school, college or university is to manage their stress with good, healthy habits rather than unhealthy ones.

“We adults have to walk our talk and do that, if that’s what we want them to do.”

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham Sir Anthony Seldon said: “To avoid causing perhaps irrevocable damage to children at a young age, parents, teachers and those who interact with young people must look after their own well-being.

“Students are also more vulnerable to stress than in the past. Social media doesn’t help.”