Coping with School Stress
These 5 tips can help kids cope with school stress and homework pressure -- and ease school anxiety for kids of all ages.
Younger kids may have more subtle signs of school stress, like headaches, stomachaches or reluctance to go to school,
2. Teach kids time-management skills.
With today's heavy homework loads, time-management and organizationalskills
are crucial weapons against stress, experts say.
Teach kids to budget their time wisely with homework. "Try to do
something every night instead of cramming at the last moment," says Delores
Curry, a California high school counselor and secondary level vice president of
the American School Counselor Association.
Stress-Relieving Homework Tips
- Teach your kids to use a planner to keep track of assignments, says
middle-school counselor Bierma. When they finish each assignment, kids can
check them off for a feeling of accomplishment.
- If kids struggle with tracking their homework, help them by following along
with homework if their school posts assignments online.
- Give your child a quiet place to study, free of distractions, away from TV
and video games.
- If possible, have kids study earlier rather than later in the day. "The
later it is for most students, the shorter their attention span," Bierma
- Ask the school about resources if your child is struggling academically,
Bierma says. Many schools now have homework clubs, math clubs, and tutoring
programs after school.
3. Consider whether your child is over-scheduled.
Over-scheduling is a big source of school stress, experts say. Many
high-school students enroll in more Honors or Advanced Placement courses than
they can handle, and then pile extracurricular activities on top, says Denise
Clark Pope, PhD, a lecturer at the Stanford University School of Education in
Stanford, California, and author of Doing School: How We Are Creating a
Generation of Stressed-Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students.
If parents filled their kids' schedules with more sleep, down time, and
family time, Pope says, "We would not be in the situation we are today. It
would be that dramatic of a change."
As a fellow student, O'Brien agrees: "Kids are so consistently worried
about keeping up with 'what's next' and 'what's next,' that it's hard to sit
down and say, 'Wow, I'm stressed out. Let's find out why.'"