It’s not surprising why colleges today are attended by a generation of students that suffer from extreme stress, depression, and anxiety. The alarming rate at which young people’s mental health is deteriorating due to academic pressure finds its roots years before they set foot in college. Studies show that these symptoms begin earlier in a child’s school life, around the time when it’s embedded in them that the college admission race can make or break their future.
Not only is this untrue–it demoralizes children and gives them an unhealthy perspective of excellence, confidence, and acceptance. They develop an immense fear and undue reverie for standardized tests, which can demean other talents and skills necessary in the workplace but aren’t valued in such tests today. As a parent, it’s up to you to help your child manage the academic pressure they’re feeling and give them a more balanced view of success in every stage of their schooling. This may mean teaching them a prayers that works, getting coached on effective parent-child communication, or simply spending more quality time together. Whatever it is, the money, effort, and time you exert will not go to waste when you see that it eases the burden on their shoulders.
Watch Out For Signs
There will always be signs that your child is suffering from severe stress or maybe resorting to unhealthy coping habits. The most common ones are remarks about feeling hopeless and failure, and these should never be taken lightly. For others, it could be sleep deprivation, binging, or poor hygiene. There are also physiological symptoms such as stomachaches, migraines, and chest pains that manifest when children have no means of venting their frustrations. Identifying these signs is crucial if you are to offer your help that will make a difference.
Value Time Management
While students may have little control over the amount of schoolwork that comes their way, they seldom have control over how they’re going to manage them. You can teach your child time management and organization skills that will keep them from getting overwhelmed and therefore stressed. Equip them with tools like planners, traditional alarm clocks, and a distraction-free study area to help them follow through with their schedule. Usually, it’s bad study habits and procrastination that lead to sleep deprivation, meltdowns, and poor performance, which then starts a cycle of stress.
It’s also important to teach them how to include rest in their schedule. Teach them to decide on a leisure activity that will help them unwind at the end of the day, like an hour of video games, swimming, or playing with the family dog. Deciding on a bedtime also helps tons, especially when preceded by saying a prayer that works or a meditation technique that will give them inner peace.
Watch What You Say
It’s not always what your child does or doesn’t do that intensifies their academic pressure. For many students, it’s what their parents do and say that makes them feel like they’ll only be loved and accepted if they meet their expectations. You may not realize it yourself that you’re giving a high premium on grades as the ultimate definition of success in your family. Is your first question to your child when they come home about their math exam? Do you nag them about extracurricular activities, competitions, and projects that could improve their academic standing?
A better set of questions that will reduce their stress revolves around other things they do at school, like making friends, learning new things, or trying something they never thought they’d do. Let them talk to you about their friends, teachers, and experiences that aren’t grade-related. You’ll be pleased with how much better your communication will be because of it.
Academics aren’t Everything
There’s no denying the significance of academic excellence. That said, you and your child need to come to an understanding that it’s not the guarantor of happiness and success in life. The sooner they realize this, the better they’ll see academic pressure for what it is and prevent it from taking over their entire life.
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