How To Help Your Child Deal With Stress at School
Our children are vulnerable, emotional creatures. They don’t have a lot of experience with coping with anxiety or stress. They’re also not used to having problems, worries, and issues. However, school stress is something that can seriously affect our children once they start going to school.
School stress can have numerous causes and our children need your help to deal with it. If you’re not sure how to help your child with this problem, just keep reading. Here’s everything you need to know about helping your child deal with stress at school.
Nurture open conversations
You must attend to your child’s needs and problems even before they happen. To put it simply, you shouldn’t wait for the problem to occur to start dealing with it.
So, whether your child is currently experiencing school stress or not, you need to ensure you have an open relationship with them.
Here’s what you should do:
- encourage open conversations
- be a good listener
- don’t scold
Ask your child how their day went, stimulate them to talk about everything with you, and make sure you give them support and encouragement whenever they need it.
Detect the problem
Once you realize that your child is experiencing some sort of stress at school, whether they tell you or you notice a change yourself, you need to work with them to define this problem.
That means that you should try and break it down together.
Let’s say your child tells you “they’re stressed out because of the upcoming math test”. By asking the right questions you’ll break it down to, for example:
- they aren’t as good as math as they’d like
- they’re scared they’ll fail the test
- they’re scared you’ll get mad and punish them
“By breaking down the problem, you’ll understand what their actual fears and worries are. This will make it easier for you to help them overcome the problem,” says Melisa Faber, a child psychologist and a writer at Trust My Paper and Studicus.
Work on a solution
Sometimes just talking about the problem will make it go away.
If you talk about your child openly and give them the right piece of advice, you’ll be able to ease their stress and help them feel better.
However, sometimes you’ll need to help them work their problems out and solve an issue to start feeling better.
So, if we stick to the previous problem, you could deal with the problem this way:
- tell them you won’t get mad if they get a bad grade at the math test
- suggest practicing math together every day
- suggest inviting a friend from school to study math together
- hire a math tutor to help them practice for the test
Practical solutions are great for overcoming stress and lowering anxiety.
Teach them organization and time-management
It may be the case that your child is experiencing stress at school because of a lack of organizational skills.
By teaching them how to organize their time, you’ll help them lower school stress and start feeling better.
Together, you can work on:
- prioritizing tasks
- creating a workday schedule
- running a school obligations calendar
- being meticulous and organized
If you teach your child to gain more control over their school-related work, they’ll feel less tense and more empowered.
Lower your expectations
Our children look up to us and often do things simply to make us feel proud or satisfied. It could be the case that your child is worried about impressing you.
Therefore, you must find the fine line between:
- teaching your child how to be responsible
- pushing them too hard
Try balancing things and giving your child enough space to breathe and relax.
Find stress relief
Just like adults, children too need something to relieve their stress. Try finding an activity or hobby that your child will enjoy.
You can try out all kinds of things, depending on your child’s tendencies and character:
- team sport
- dance lessons
- playing an instrument
- family movie nights
- play dates
- outdoor activities
Try out different things and ask your child what they feel like doing. Make sure they find the time to relax, have fun and fully enjoy their free time.
Establish a bedtime routine
Lack of sleep or irregular sleeping habits can take a toe on our mental health. The same goes for our children.
If your children don’t get enough sleep, they’ll find it harder to focus, study, be active during class, and manage all their school work.
To prevent them from experiencing sleep deprivation, you need to ensure they have an established bedtime routine:
- set time for going to bed
- set time for getting up
At weekends, you can treat them and let them go to bed an hour later. But, don’t let the weekend completely disrupt their routine.
Regular sleep will help them retain their energy and strength and cope with potential stress much better.
If you feel like the situation might be getting out of your hands, or you simply want someone to give you a hand, you can always get professional help.
This doesn’t necessarily mean taking your child to a psychologist.
First, try getting help from the school. Talk to:
- the teachers
- the school counselor
- the school psychologist
After you consult them, they’ll give you their professional opinion about your child.
Finally, you can reach out to a child psychologist and see what they recommend you do. Together, you’ll be able to deal with your child’s school stress productively.
Helping your child deal with stress at school is important. You can’t expect them to deal with their issues alone, or even to open up about it, without your encouragement.
Teach your child to speak openly about their issues and find the best way to help them cope. Use the advice we’ve provided above to minimize or completely remove school stress from your child’s life.
Guest Writer Bio
Marques Coleman is a family therapist and a child psychologist whose years of experience in working with people from all over make him credible and trustworthy as a source of information. He combines his passion for writing with his knowledge in the psychology department to write compelling, informative and quality articles. He also works as a writer at Grab My Essay and Best Essay Education. He’s also an editor at Wow Grade and Supreme Dissertations.