Children of all ages may experience school stress for a variety of reasons. Such reasons can include bullying, lack of integration, teacher rapport issues, schoolwork overload, boredom, not getting enough sleep, ‘what to wear’ pressure, family issues which seem to be out in the public or other kids talking about them, to list just a few.
What are the signs of school stress?
Children may develop stomach ache or headache, they may even thrown up right before going to school, they may develop tantrums on the way to school and refuse to let go of their parents (especially worrying over 7 years of age). They may feel excessively tired for their age, lack energy or drive to play, sleep excessively, or ask to be allowed to stay at home for the day.
What should you do about it?
Here are ten things you can do to address your child’s school stress:
1-Talk to your child’s teacher to find out possible reasons for which your child may act in a certain way. Try to find out if your child behaves in any particular way during their daily school time.
2-Should you identify any issues, try talking to the school counselor as well as the school principal and/or head of pastoral care.
3-Ask your child to draw a typical day at school. Ask a specialist to interpret their drawing.
4- Ask your child to make a list of things they like at school and things they dislike about it. Discuss those findings.
5-If you feel overwhelmed, ask for professional help and/or support.
6-Should your child feel under stress because of their schoolwork, you might want to consider additional private tutoring support.
7-Make sure your child remembers to stay active and eats healthy.
8-If your child feels lonely, you might be able to help by organising some playdates.
9-Maybe you can find a way to shine. Find a way for your child to show their special talents. Appreciation and acknowledgement can do wonders in their confidence.
10-Focus on what can be changed and if the situation cannot be improved, then you might need to take the drastic decision to change schools.