As adults, we know how destructive stress can be, and though we have had a lifetime to learn how to deal with stress, it hardly gets easier. As a parent, it is so important to acknowledge that your child will face stress as well. They might not have mortgages to worry about or work-related problems, but their stress is just as real. Helping your child deal with school stress can help them better deal with stress later on in life as well.
Here is how you can help your child learn to deal with school stress, and how you can offer your support.
Calm Down Situations
Your child will always feel stressed if their life is chaotic. Avoid chaotic morning rushes, and try to create a calm environment at home. If your mornings are always rushed, try to give yourself more time and plan ahead. A rushed child will never feel calm.
Ensure Your Child Gets Enough Sleep
Sleep is so incredibly important. The first step in dealing with stress is for your child to be rested. Children who do not get enough sleep will be irritable and will have a hard time handling school stress. Get them into a good routine at night, no matter how young or old they are.
Encourage Open Communication
It can be difficult to ascertain whether or not your child is stressed if you do not talk to them. If you suspect that they might be stressed, open up communication. Ask them gently about their day and try to help them feel more comfortable talking to you.
Busy Isn’t Happy
Avoid the idea that being busy means you are happy. Your child needs to have time to themselves, to relax and destress. Don’t push them to be involved in too many after-school activities, or to take too many extra classes. This can all become too much for them, and often is the main source of stress.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
You and your child should sit down every now and then to practice different relaxation techniques. Practice deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and writing down positive affirmations daily.
Learn To Handle Your Own Stress
There is no way your child will learn to handle their own stress if you don’t learn to handle yours. You need to model good behaviour for your kids and show them that you do address your stress. If you come home from a bad day at work, be open about it, and show them that you are dealing with your stress.
It is so important to avoid criticizing your child if they feel stressed. Even if you do not agree with their stress, do not talk negatively about it in front of them. Instead, offer support and try to find a solution together that solves the problem.
Get Help If Needed
If you suspect that your child might need some help, the best thing you could do for them is to get that help. Approach a school counsellor or private counsellor for ways to help your child cope, or even arrange for your child to speak to someone on their own.