An important topic to understand: stress and school
As seen in the Santa Clarita Magazine, Stress and School
Childhood should be a time of growing, learning, fun and friends. At least that’s what we experienced growing up.
However, in this day and age, expectations for children and adolescents are to excel and prepare for the future. As the grade level expectancies increase, students of all ages are faced with stress in school that many of their parents never experienced. There are tests to pass and projects to do as the pace of the classroom moves faster and faster. In addition, our kids are busy with sports, Scouts, and other outside activities, yet time must be found to fit in homework.
To compound matters, distractions are ever present in the form of computers, cell phones, games, and endless television programs.
In response to the stress they experience, on one extreme you may find students who are perfectionists, trying to do everything with absolute precision. On the other side of the spectrum students may shut down to school or become experts at avoiding school work, or worse, become withdrawn and depressed in general. Either way, these are not individuals enjoying their childhood. It is important that the child begin to recognize the reason they make the choices they do, become aware of their feelings, learn to calm their anxiety, and lower their stress.
If you are observing perfectionist tendencies or avoidance of school tasks in your child, it is important that you not ignore these signs. Make sure you address anxiety or depression immediately.
You don’t want to overlook a learning problem that may be present either, so be sure to seek the advice of the experts at your school. Start by talking with your child’s teacher or counselor.
If your child’s academic skills are on tap with their peers, it is possible that stress may be the culprit. Your child’s teacher or counselor may have some suggestions that will help your child better deal with stress affecting them at school.
In addition, examine your expectations for your child’s education. Be realistic, not all children will be “A” students especially if they are competing with high academic achievers in GATE programs, or AP and Honor’s classes.
Listen to your children and remove pressure when appropriate.
And above all, make sure you are being a good roll model for how you address stress in your own life.
If further intervention is needed, seek professional assistance to provide your child with coping strategies and relaxation techniques.