The beginning of the school year, especially the first, sometimes turns into a problem. How to help your child overcome stress and not aggravate?
Stress in schoolchildren – causes
The school not only has a stimulating effect on general developmental processes, it can become a source of increasing tension. The most stressful in a student’s life are the beginning of the school year and the change of educational institution. Other factors causing stress:
- situations related to learning – assessments, knowledge testing, exceeding duties, etc.
- problems in relationships with peers
- parents’ attitude to poor academic performance – humiliation, threats, punishments
- difficulties with the teacher – the teacher screams, scolds or humiliates in front of classmates.
The negative attitude of others affects the health of the student. First of all, the nervous and immune systems suffer, blood circulation is disturbed due to constant muscle tension. Full-fledged mental work in such conditions is impossible, as a result, a vicious circle arises – grades do not improve, the student’s psyche is suppressed even more.
How stress manifests itself in students
Symptoms that are the result of stress are most easily detected in young children because, unlike teenagers, they do not hide their condition. Known signs include:
- irritability, aggressive behavior
- apathy, drowsiness, decreased concentration
- the emergence of a tendency to pessimism or fantasizing
- neglect of duty
- gastrointestinal disorders (eg, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting)
- headache, dry mouth, increased muscle tone (particularly in the neck and shoulders)
- decrease in immunity.
Family as a source of support
In difficult times, family support is crucial. The child must be sure that he will be heard, and the problems will not be ridiculed or exaggerated. At the same time, unpleasant situations cannot be eliminated by all means. After all, stress is an integral part of life and the sooner a student learns to cope with it, the easier it will survive more serious situations.
Quite often, instead of helping, the family contributes to the deterioration of the psychological mood. To prevent this from happening, avoid the following points:
1. Bullying with the help of school or teachers. Messages “they will laugh at you at school” or “it will be difficult for you” cause anxiety and reluctance to attend it. Instead of such expressions, tell him that at school he will meet new acquaintances or friends with whom he can share his impressions of the past holidays.
2. Fear of loved ones. Sometimes parents, fearing for the child, show their frustration, which causes stress for the student. He thinks that if mom and dad are worried, then the classroom is not such a safe place. Do not show excessive anxiety in the presence of a student, set him up only for the best.
3. Frightening future. Children often hear from adults – “if you do not study well, you will not achieve anything in life.” These words are harmful, especially in the case of middle and high school children. Many teenagers have a different opinion on this matter, because they see the opposite. In this situation, explain your position on the basis of facts without hypothetical implications. For example, if a child decides that athletes do not need good grades, remind them of the possibility of injury. Athletes leave their chosen path after a serious injury, and they have to look for another job with decent pay.
4. Ambitions. Usually parents consider their crumbs to be extremely smart and talented, which becomes a problem for the student. Adults expect high marks from him, and when expectations are not met, they attack with reproaches “why 4?”. Thus, the parent communicates that he does not fit his family, and this, in turn, causes additional stress. Not all children are equally capable, and grades are just grades, not a source of future misfortune. Numerous studies have shown that high school performance does not guarantee success in adulthood. Social skills, the ability to build relationships and achieve goals have a much greater impact on life satisfaction.
How to relieve stress in a student
If alarming symptoms are observed, first of all, it is necessary to talk with the child. Having found out that problems at school are the source of anxiety, parents should show their understanding and provide support. In difficult situations, for example, when a student is afraid of the first day of school, let him know that he can handle it. To encourage, give an example from your own experience, talk about your experiences and acknowledge how difficult it was to overcome them. Be sure to end the story positively. If a child gets a low score, try to analyze what exactly went wrong. It is important that the student does not blame himself too much (“I’m stupid”, “I’m a fool”), but notice the reason, for example, he forgot the old topic, and it should sometimes be repeated.
Check how well the student has the necessary skills. These abilities vary with age. The younger student should be able to use the toilet, wash their hands, change clothes without the help of adults. In addition, he should be taught perseverance and build self-confidence. Thanks to these qualities, the risk of developing stress is significantly reduced. In addition, pay attention to the workload at school, perhaps the child is tired and needs a short break, especially if it is a teenager. Do not be afraid to take unscheduled days off at least once a quarter, this will help prevent stress, as well as the fear of attending an educational institution.