A poll on kidshealth found that children were just as stressed about school work as they were about social and appearance issues. All of these reasons make back to school time stressful for our children, making sure they have the right supplies and clothes. Adjusting to a new classroom and new friends cause high amounts of anxiety for children. Social pressures are huge components of school for children, and societal pressures to have the latest fashion or technology can loom over everyday life
As a parent, having compassion and understanding for your child is crucial. They may come home from school and be moody. It’s important to look at the big picture, why are they talking back, being moody or acting disengaged? Rather than jumping to conclusions or directly to punishment, sit down with your child and ask about their experiences from the day. With older children it may be harder, but making sure they understand that you know school is stressful, that you are there to listen, and not judge, is essential to keeping the line of communication open between parent and child. Times have significantly changed and more issues of bullying have begun to spring up online and off, leaving children at a higher level of stress than ever before in relation to school relationships.
Incorporating nurturing touch can also formulate and keep the bond between you and your child strong. After a long day of school, it’s as easy as giving your child a hug or rub their back while you ask about their day. By using touch you can help ease their stress and yours, as well as opening the line of communication. Creating a window of time to ask about your child’s day may sound unreasonable especially if you are a working parent, but it easily fits in at dinner time each night, or even on the drive home from school.
It is important to make a pan and stick with it. Thriving on structure, children need to have a nightly ritual of communication, homework help with bedtime working best. A calendar on the refrigerator where all activities are placed helps the child know what to expect and be involved in time management.
Getting enough sleep each night will also help diminish stress, keep them alert, focused at school and less cranky! Help your child find an activity to ease stress, whether it’s taking a break and listening to music, volunteering at an animal shelter or playing an hour of video games, all of which can help them disconnect and recharge mentally.
Many children stress about academics, it’s important to convey to your children that it is okay to fail and that you are there to catch them when they do. Unreasonable expectations set by either the parent or child can have damaging effects on the child. While pushing them is important, using understanding and compassion is even more valuable to their future. Children who aren’t doing well in school may have other issues going on, they could have such high anxiety that they have given up on school work or they may have a learning exceptionality that makes it harder for them. By keeping an open mind, sitting down with them, and asking without anger or judgment, could make a world of difference.
Every child wants to be heard, and as a parent it is our job to listen! This will help ease their stress, create a closer bond and help ease them into adulthood.