Helping Your Child Manage Stress and Anxiety in School

How Can Parents Help Their Children To Manage School Stress?

In today"s fast-paced and competitive world, stress has become a part and parcel of life. This is not just true for adults, but kids as well. School stress is felt by children several times due to various reasons. School stress is common during various events such as examinations, result day, competitions, etc. Change or adaptation to something new often results in stress.

Possible reasons of school stress

Children these days are exposed to various news and information through digital means at an early age. Along with this, the rapidly transforming social environment is also putting tremendous stress on children. For a child who is just starting to go to school, the change in environment from known people at home to strangers in a school environment can also be a cause of stress. Many-a-times, it is difficult for kids, especially small ones, to communicate what they are going through. This aggravates stress even further.

Here are some of the most common causes of school stress and anxiety in kids.

  • Pressure of academic performance

  • Examination stress

  • Comparison with other children

  • Financial difficulties

  • Fights or quarrels at home

  • Peer group pressure

  • Moving to a new school

  • Heavy workload or schedule

  • Lack of sleep

Role of parents in helping their kids overcome school stress and anxiety

Parents can play a key role in helping their children overcome school stress. However, before they can help their children manage stress, they need to know the reason “Why?” behind the stress. Knowing what is causing anxiety and school stress is the first step for a parent towards helping his or her child deal with it.

Promoting quality sleep

  • According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 25 to 50 percent of children are affected with problems due to lack of sleep. (Source: Sleep Foundation)

  • Children who do not get enough sleep struggle to concentrate and study efficiently. 

  • A child"s cheerful appearance, jolly nature, and natural enthusiasm indicate the benefits of sleep. 

  • At various ages, children require varying levels of sleep. 

  • As part of stress management, parents should support good sleep in their children.

Spend time with children

  • All parents are preoccupied nowadays, with their busy work schedules.

  • If you feel your child is anxious or nervous about something, spend extra time with him or her than normal. 

  • Make yourself accessible to engage in enjoyable activities or simply being in the same space.

  • You can take your kid out for a walk or go to the garden with  them.

  • Ask how the day at school went and show a keen interest in what is vital to them. 

  • However, resist pressuring your child to discuss their concerns; they are going to speak up when they feel at ease in doing so.

Make children understand the reality

Imperfections and failures are a part of life.

  • Many parents believe that our children must excel in academics and sports as well. 

  • However, we must remember that children must be allowed to be children. 

  • Because of pressure from parents and teachers, kids tend to be motivated by grades and marks rather than the love of learning. 

  • This does not mean that effort is unimportant. 

  • It is critical that you motivate your kid to put in the effort hard while also acknowledging and accepting your child"s imperfections and shortcomings.

Focus on stress-busting and relaxing activities

  • Children require time to unwind and play to beat school stress.

  • Unfortunately, even enjoyable pursuits, such as outdoor sports, may turn into who wins than the pleasure of playing. 

  • Instead, it is crucial to make sure that your child participates in playtime only for the purpose of having joy. 

  • This may involve setting time aside every day allowing your child to play with objects of play, play a board game, participate in a sport (without being competitive), practice meditation, coloring, have a tea party, perform an act, or mimic someone.

  • Recreational activities help kids offset school stress and generate positive emotions.

Have an open discussion about school stress rather than overlook it

  • If your youngster expresses anxiety or fear, do not respond with "No there is nothing wrong!" or "You"re okay." That is not helpful for your child. 

  • Rather, it is likely to convince your kid that you aren"t paying attention to or failing to understand him/her. 

  • Instead, affirm your child"s feelings by saying something like, "Yes, you do appear nervous. "What exactly are you stressed about?" 

  • Then, discuss with your child about school stress, anxieties, worries, and nervousness.

Patience is crucial

It saddens you as a parent to watch your child sad or worried.  However, avoid temptation to resolve every issue.  Instead, concentrate on gradually but steadily developing your child into an excellent problem-solver — a child who understands how to deal with life"s challenges, put emotions into speech, relax when necessary, and come back strongly.

Free time is important for stress management

  • Establishing a routine can help students remain dedicated and on the right path, but overburdening can cause anxiety and worry. 

  • Schedule time off for your child to do anything he or she wants in between school, homework, and extracurricular activities. 

  • This break allows him or her to unwind, de-stress, and replenish their energy.

Limit the screen time

  • In the tech savvy world, smartphones, laptops, and tablets have become an active part of everyone"s life.

  • To help overcome school stress and anxiety, it is vital for parents to limit the screen time of kids.

  • Parents should focus on encouraging physical and outdoor activities that connect children with the natural surroundings.

  • In order to manage stress effectively, parents should lead by example and devote maximum time for their children.

Academic performance is a key aspect of schooling. However, it is not everything. Yoga, meditation, cooking, painting, swimming, playing indoor and outdoor games are some of the ways in which parents can help their kids beat school stress. Rather than rote learning and academic scores, parents, teachers, and schools shoot focus on practical, skill-based learning. Parents need to understand the skills and capabilities of their children and the limitations as well. Setting realistic goals rather than just pushing a child to go all out will help ease much of the school stress.