School years can be a stressful experience. Here are the 6 most common causes of stress for students and ways in which a parent can help.
Many children feel under pressure to do well at school and balance all the lessons plus homework they have to do every day, which can at times feel overwhelming.
Exams can put children and teenagers under pressure and, those aged between 12 – 15 are the most likely to be asking for help about exam stress. Exam stress can lead to depression, anxiety, panic attacks and low self-esteem.
3. Peer pressure
Making friends can be difficult and many children feel under pressure to fit in.
According to the NSPCC, there are more than 16,000 young people absent from school due to bullying. As a parent, there are certain things you can look out for that may suggest your child is having a problem with bullying. These include becoming withdrawn and nervous, performing badly at school, pretending to be ill so they don’t have to go to school, not eating or sleeping well, having unexplained injuries like bruising and losing their belongings.
5. World events
It’s impossible to keep disturbing news about things like war, natural disasters and terrorist atrocities from children these days. As a result, some children may worry about their safety as well as that of their parents, family members and friends.
6. Family difficulties or changes
From moving to a new house to parents separating, family difficulties and changes to the norm can be tough on a child or teenager and can cause signs of stress.
How to help:
- Make time for them
All parents are busy but it is important to spend time with children if you think they’re worried about something. Make yourself available for fun activities or just being in the same room as them. Ask them about their day and show an interest in things that are important to them.
- Encourage healthy sleep
Getting the right amount of sleep and rest can help children become more resilient to stress.
- Feed them healthy food
Try to make sure they’re eating at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
- Make stress normal
It may be useful to remind your children that some level of stress is perfectly normal in life, and that everyone is affected by it and has to find ways of coping.
- Keep them active
Physical activity can help children and adults manage stress, so make sure your children are getting plenty of exercise. Other things you could try with them include relaxation techniques and even things like breathing exercises.