Whether it be in their elementary school years or college years, your child will feel overwhelmed with the expectations set upon them by you, their schools, and society itself. It is a part of learning and growing up, and as a parent, you won’t always be there for them when stress overtakes them.
However, too much stress and becoming too overwhelmed is far from a good thing, especially during your child’s formative years. When stress becomes toxic, it can affect your child’s emotional, physical, and mental wellbeing in the long run.
Thus, to prevent academics from becoming overwhelming, here are some things to remember:
1. Choose a good school
First things first, choose a good place where your child can receive quality elementary education. Do your research about the school district and the school itself, particularly about its treatment of students and the kind of learning environment it provides. As much as possible, visit the potential school to get a feel of the environment and observe the interactions between students and teachers.
2. Listen to your child
One of the biggest mistakes that parents make is the failure to listen to their children. Either that or downplaying what their child is complaining about. If your child talks to you about their problems at school, listen carefully. Don’t brush them off or downplay their issues. Otherwise, they might not talk to you at all after that.
3. Look for signs
Children don’t always know that they are stressed. Even more so, they might not know how to handle it.
If your child exhibits the following signs and symptoms, their stress levels are likely too high:
- Sleep disturbances
- Poor appetite
- Stomach problems
- Angry outbursts
- Clingy behavior
- New or recurring fears
- Reverting to past behaviors
- Unwillingness to participate
- Fighting with others
- Poor school performance
4. Establish a routine
Having a routine is one of the best ways to alleviate stress. Set up a regular bedtime, homework time, bath time, and downtime. With a predictable schedule, children have a better sense of control and security over their life.
5. Go easy on the extracurriculars
Joining extracurricular activities can be beneficial for your child’s physical, mental, and social development. However, having too much on their plate is unhealthy, so limit their extracurricular activities to a level that they can handle. More importantly, help them manage their time between schoolwork and extracurriculars.
6. Take a mental health day
Both children and adults should have the liberty of taking a mental health day when things are becoming too overwhelming. If your child is showing signs of overwhelming stress, such as refusal to go to school or irrational outbursts, it might be time to take a day off, especially if there are stressful situations at home.
School-age children are not yet fully capable of handling or even recognizing high levels of stress. So much so that they become overwhelmed by pressures both at home and school, resulting in negative physical and mental manifestations.
As a parent, helping your child cope through stress is the best way to prevent burnout. When done right, it is also an excellent opportunity for you to teach them how to handle stress.