Managing stress at school

There are different reasons why children do not adapt to a new school or a new class, why they do not like school or even experience school as stressful.

Children who feel threatened by the school environment might find it difficult to achieve the outcomes required and to maintain healthy social relationships.

If your child has negative school experiences, try to determine possible causes for it. The following are common reasons why children experience stress at school:

  • not having friends,
  • low self-esteem,
  • being bullied at school,
  • the child feeling overwhelmed by the academic- or extra-curricular activities,
  • a fear of failing,
  • the child being afraid of the teacher,
  • anxiety to part from the parents,
  • other traumas that affects the child’s emotional well-being.

Because children spend a lot of their time at school, parents should act on school related stress. Children react differently to stress: some children are likely to withdraw from activities while other might become aggressive and rebellious. These children also often complain about going to school.

As a parent there are a few things you can do to give your support and help your children reduce their stress.

  • Talk to your children about their friends, experiences and activities. A trusting and comfortable relationship between parent and child is important.
  • Give your full attention when they are talking to you and take your children seriously.
  • Communicate with the teacher regarding social, emotional and academic progress at school. This might also help you pinpoint possible problem areas.
  • Make sure your children are not over-scheduled with school and extra-curricular activities.
  • Prepare your young children for the day by discussing the routine, tell them when known changes will occur, what they can expect and alternatives to handle the situation appropriately.
  • Discuss possible ways to handle difficult situations such as bullies, peer pressure or coping with stress.
  • Avoid putting too much pressure on your child.
  • Encourage family time and time to relax.
  • Decide on how you will handle the stressful situations, have a plan of action and monitor it regularly. If necessary get professional help to guide your child and teach her coping skills.

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