Stopping stress before it starts.

Back to School Doesn’t Have to mean back to stress.

The start of the school year is a distant memory and already you’re seeing the negative signs. They’re snappy, not eating, or eating too much, sleeping, or not sleeping, you get banging doors and sullen silences. They’re stressed, and you know that things are only going to get worse. So, what can you do to stop the stress now.

1. Go on a fact-finding mission.

There are a whole host of reasons that students are stressed, from bullying to upcoming tests. Also consider that they might not have enough downtime, a huge cause of stress is disorganisation, but that doesn’t mean shouting at them to tidy their room will do any good.

Students with poor organizational skills tend to experience more stress in school. This is usually because they aren’t properly prepared with the tools or the understanding needed to learn. If those organization skills don’t improve they may continue to fall behind, leading to more stress and frustration about school.

Which leads us to our next stage.

2. Get organised now.

Does their school issue them with a diary? If not go out and get one. Get them used to the idea of using it to write down deadlines, any trips, what classes they need to attend, add some way to include after school activities. That way you can see at a glance when they have busy school days followed by busy evenings.

3. Give them control over their organisation

Of a morning they are dropped off in a place they don’t want to be, sent to lessons they don’t want to go to, they can only eat in certain places, go to the toilet at certain times. Down time is limited, and they must be attentive for the next set of instructions.

No wonder many students feel that their life is out of control. Allowing them to control when they do their homework, and how they organise their lives can help. Note that says when, not how much homework they do.

4. Make sure they have help.

Classes are big, teachers time is limited, and it can be far too easy for a child to slip behind in school. But you can book for a teacher in that subject to come and sit with your child once a week, or more if you think they need it, and help them to catch up, and even get ahead. A good tutor is a practising teacher that knows the subject, and the potential pitfalls a student might face.

5. Make sure they get enough sleep.

The average amount of sleep that teenagers get is between 7 and 7 ¼ hours. However, they need between 9 and 9 ½ hours (studies show that most teenagers need exactly 9 ¼ hours of sleep). Sleep deprivation will impact on many aspects of your teenager’s functioning:

  • Sleep deprivation will cause your teenager to be moody, irritable, and cranky. In addition, she will have a difficult time regulating her mood, such as by getting frustrated or upset more easily.
  • Teenagers who are sleep deprived are also more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviours, such as drinking, driving fast, and engaging in other dangerous activities.
  • Cognitive ability. Inadequate sleep will result in problems with attention, memory, decision making, reaction time, and creativity, all of which are important in school.
  • Academic performance. Studies show that teenagers who get less sleep are more apt to get poor grades in school, fall asleep in school, and have school tardiness/absences.

Overall don’t suffer in silence, help is out there. Tutors can help with academic performance, but also in organisation, timetabling and all those other things in school. If you are worried about the ongoing health issues, contact your GP. Stress is a major issue that should never be ignored.