For young children, school can be stressful in more ways than one. Whether they are coping with making friends, handling difficult lectures, or gaining acceptance from teachers, these problems can affect them. Any type of challenge can cause them stress. It is important that stress is detected and dealt with before it starts to cause anxiety.
Some children will express that they are under stress while others won’t. In that case, it is up to you as the parent to notice and acknowledge the change in their behavior. They might become more quiet than usual, aggressively protest going to school, or even cry when you want to talk about school. Don’t allow these situations to pass unnoticed.
Approaching your child should be done with care and in a thought-out manner. Otherwise, the child can shut down and reject any help. For that reason, the following tips will show you some of the best ways to help your child handle school stress.
1. Release Them of Pressure
If your child is the type of person who wants to do everything perfectly, their overachieving character can put too much pressure on them. You know your child’s characteristics best so you shouldn’t have any trouble noticing this behavior.
Spending too much time studying, refusing to have fun with their friends, and stressing about each test are clear signs that they are under pressure.
You never know what lies behind that feeling. Maybe they are comparing themselves to an older sibling, or maybe they don’t want to disappoint you or their teacher.
In any case, you should have a talk and explain that there is no reason to stress about their achievements. All they need to do is to do their best and be themselves.
2. Have an Honest Talk
You should openly let your child know that they can talk to you about anything. Even if you think that is implied because you have a great relationship, you should still emphasize it.
Express to your child that they can come to you with any problem. To form such a relationship you have to pay attention to your response. If you get upset about their problems, they won’t feel comfortable talking about them.
Calmly accept anything they tell you, at least in their presence. Your attitude should ensure your child that there is a solution to any problem and that stressing about it won’t help.
3. Set a Bedtime Routine
Sleep deprivation or bad sleep habits can lead to stress and anxiety in children. Lack of sleep can make the child agitated and easily trigger stress.
Children should have a bedtime routine so that their body and mind gets used to a specific bedtime. Once they establish a routine, they won’t have trouble falling asleep earlier.
Keep track of your child’s sleeping habits and whether they really go to sleep at their bedtime. In the digital era, it is common that children spend hours on their phones after they’ve been sent to bed.
If you notice that your child is nervous without any specific reason, sleep deprivation could be the main cause. In case the phone is causing the problem, take away their cell phone when they head to bed.
4. Re-organize Their Obligations
Some children are overwhelmed with their extra activities. If they feel like they don’t have the time to complete all of their assignments it will cause them a lot of stress.
Rationally observe your child’s obligations and activities. Decide whether they have too much going on. They might want to be a part of everything but it is up to you to help them organize their life better.
At a young age, children don’t have the ability to understand how obligations can wear them down. You should explain to them that engaging in too many activities can have a negative impact on their mental health.
“My kid had put so much on her back at one point that we were just rushing from one practice or activity to another. Even though she had the best intentions, it was just too much for her to bear. I had to limit her obligations, despite her initial disagreement,” Samantha Willis shared about her experience with her daughter Annie. “I have to say that she is grateful to this day that I helped her enjoy her childhood and let go of all that stress,” added Marie Fincher, the head of the content department at Studicus.
5. Be Positive in Their Presence
Help your child form a positive mindset by setting them in a positive environment.
Children absorb behavioral patterns. Spending time with negative people will reflect on their thoughts. Having a negative mindset will make them anxious people.
Ensure that the people around them speak positively in their presence. Meaning that conversations such as lack of money, problems in our economy, and any type of grown-up problems shouldn’t be discussed in the presence of children.
If a child listens to their parents talking about unexpected expenses this month, they can misunderstand that information. Not knowing what exactly the parents are talking about, the child can stress about a nonexistent problem.
Try to be as positive as you can around your child. That is the attitude that the child needs to adopt and develop.
There is an exercise that can help children develop a positive attitude. Write positive affirmations on pieces of paper and put them in a bowl. Each morning before school the child should pull out one of the papers and read it. This will get them to start a day with a positive thought.
6. Teach Them How to Relax
The child who embodies relaxing habits will be better at managing stress. While they can’t influence the appearance of stressful situations, they can influence how they will react to them.
Teach your child how to be relaxed and they will be better at staying relaxed when stress comes along.
Some examples of relaxing habits are:
- spending time in nature (even a walk in the park will do)
- playing their favorite game
- reading bedtime stories
- spending time with family and friends
- cooking together
Such habits will not only help with relaxation but will also build a stronger bond between you two.
7. Talk to Their Teacher
If you simply can’t reach your child, you’ll have to head out to school and find out what’s been happening.
The teacher probably has the answer to the mystery of their school stress. When you identify the problem you will know what you need to focus on.
The person that can help you find the solution to the problem is the school counselor. They have encountered all types of situations that lead to school stress.
Explain to them your child’s problem and help them understand their character. Based on that information, they can advise you on which approach you need to take.
Some Final Thoughts
Stressful situations are practically unavoidable. For children, school is the most frequent source of stress. When your child is facing problems, you should give them guidance on how to cope with them. While stress is ever-present, learning how to deal with stress is what will help your child live a happier life.
Marques Coleman is a blog writer at TrustMyPaper and GrabMyEssay. In his spare time he contributes to WowGrade. Marques specializes in marketing and copywriting. He is an avid traveler and always tries to learn something new.