How to Help your Child with School Stress: 7 Practical Tips
School is such an exciting phase in every child’s life, this is where they learn new things, meet new friends, and learn how to socialize and interact with their peers and teachers. However, not all children get along with school very well. In fact, some children struggle to cope with school so much that they end up being overwhelmingly stressed because of school.
Stress is defined as the feeling of being under too much emotional and mental pressure. Some tell-tale signs that your child may be having school stress include unexplained tiredness, feeling unmotivated to go to school, and mental upset. When stress is not addressed right away, it may affect your child’s academic performance and overall mental health and well-being. High levels of stress affect a student’s capacity to focus, memorise, and academic success. In some cases, children who experience school stress also report the following symptoms: headaches, stomach aches, procrastination, and a reluctance to go to school.
If you suspect that your child is overwhelmingly stressed with school, here are some practical tips that you can do to help them cope with school stress. It would be best that you act right away as soon as you see signs of stress in your child because prolonging their stress in school may have some long-term negative impacts on their mental health!
Identify the cause of stress
The first step to helping your child cope with stress is to identify what’s causing it. Some of the most frequent ways kids can feel stressed by their social life at school include worries about not having enough friends, not being in the same class as friends, and not being able to keep up with their peers. Other causes of stress in school also include bullying, over-scheduling (having too many extracurriculars), learning style mismatch, lessons that are too hard for them, lack of family support, test anxiety, and lack of school readiness.
Make time for family and friends
Children also need a well-balanced life, they won’t be happy if their focus is just on their academics. Encourage your child to spend more time with family and friends. You can schedule a special day out with the family, perhaps a trip to the beach or an excursion to the mountains over the weekend would help them relax and recharge before they start a new week in school. Inviting some of their friends to play video games on their days off from school is also a great way for them to bond and socialise.
Get them involved in extra-curricular
Signing up for an extra-curricular activity helps develop your child’s other skills like dancing, singing, art, storytelling, and sports. Getting involved in extra-curricular activities help your child live a well-balanced life.
Avoid over-loading and over-scheduling
Everything should be in moderation. Having too many commitments in school and outside school may also feel overwhelming for the child and can lead to mental fatigue and school stress. Avoid overloading your child’s schedule and only let them take on big tasks one at a time.
Follow a bedtime routine
Sleep and rest are essential to ensure your child grows happy and healthy. If you find your child sleeping too late at night or having sleeping problems, you can help by setting a strict bedtime routine for them to follow. Spend some precious minutes with them before they drift off to sleep with a bedtime story. And, strictly no gadgets after dinner.
Books help relieve school stress
Books offer an ‘escape’ from the real world. When the child is engaged in a book, they will find themselves in the world of the book where they can be anyone, anything, be anywhere, and meet different people. Reading for pleasure after school is such an effective way to get your child’s mind off the things that cause them stress. If your child is new to reading or is a reluctant reader, offer books that catch their attention like a personalised book where they are the hero of the story!
Set realistic goals
In some cases, parents put pressure on their children’s shoulders. Competing with other parents and setting too high expectations on your child, especially in their academic performance cause too much stress on them. It’s important to assess your child and appreciates their uniqueness the way they are. Set realistic goals that your child would happily achieve without being forced or pressured.