How to Prevent School Stress from Holding Your Kids Back
As adults we may look back on our school years as a time of fun and friendship or as a painful challenge to fit in and make good grades. Either way, parents and caregivers often fail to realize how much stress their children might experience in school. People are now beginning to notice the increase in depression, anxiety, and even suicides among children. Here are ways you can help to prevent or at least reduce the chance of serious problems developing.
Take It Seriously
You don’t want to create a problem if one doesn’t already exist. On the other hand, ignoring issues can let them become worse. Mental health professionals have cautioned parents to be alert for warning signs. For example, a London psychologist in a private practice may encounter everything from children with serious mental illnesses to more minor problems that may quickly be resolved with the proper care. It is important to be aware that problems can develop. You’ll need to take steps now to reduce the odds of serious issues and be aware so you can identify warning signs.
Teach Kids to Fail & Succeed
We all want our kids to excel in school and make good grades. Unfortunately, that desire to succeed can leave no room for failure. Be sure your kids understand that they won’t be good at everything the first time they try it. Being comfortable trying and failing leads kids to attempt more different things and to keep striving to do better. Once kids realize failure is simply a step on the way to improving, they are more likely to achieve in more different areas and be less stressed about trying new things. Anyone can have the confidence to excel. Having the confidence to succeed after failing is a skill that can help your kids be successful throughout their lives. This attitude can also reduce their odds of becoming anxious or depressed when things aren’t going as well.
Stress about school can come from several different directions. Concern about excelling academically is only one challenge children might face. Often the biggest factors that can put children at risk are concerns about making friends, fitting in, and dealing with bullies. This is one reason to develop a dialogue with your kids so that you are more aware of their friendships and any conflicts with other children.
Work with your children to help them find a good circle of friends. Joining school clubs or sports can be a great way for kids to surround themselves with children who have similar interests. Encourage your children to try a range of activities both through school and after school. It is often better if they have several areas of interest so that they have more opportunities to learn and develop multiple groups of friends. Kids who only have friends that are part of a single group run a greater risk of being devastated if conflict causes them to be socially excluded by that one group. Keep in mind that social media is a common tool for bullies so make sure this isn’t becoming a problem for your children. The use of social media can allow children to keep in touch with their friends or it can allow school bullies to continue to publicly attack your children on evenings and weekends.
Worry about academic pressures can become all consuming. Keep your child involved in other hobbies or clubs to reduce an overemphasis on school work. Remaining active and fit will help reduce your child’s stress. It can be a great way for them to blow off steam following a big exam or to clear their heads to be better able to come up good solutions for school assignments.
Remember to allow time for kids to be kids. Riding bikes, running around on a playground, or playing with toys can all be great ways for kids to relieve stress. Try to avoid overscheduling their days. Time to read for fun or play with friends can be important to reduce anxiety and build social skills.