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Stress in students and what can you do as a parent to help

by | Published: | Updated: 01/04/2018


Stress in young students is very common these days and there are many factor which causes this. Stress may cause various other things such as anxiety, depression if its continuous, hence it’s very important we understand about it and what is the role of parents if they notice it in their children.

Feeling stressed is normal and we need this response in order for the body to react appropriately when threatened or when our everyday balance is disrupted. Stress helps motivate us and even helps protect us. However, feeling too much stress is not healthy. If kids start feeling stressed out on a regular basis, this could lead to greater health problems, and could negatively interfere with his/her studies, moral, health and everyday life. 

Common causes of stress:

  • Common external causes of stress include: major life changes, study overload, relationship difficulties, bullying, financial issues, being too busy, and family
  • Common internal causes of stress include: inability to accept uncertainty, pessimism, negative self-talk, unrealistic expectations, perfectionism, and lack of assertiveness


What are the signs & symptoms?

Here are some possible signs that indicate your stress may be a problem:

  • Cognitive symptoms include: memory problems, inability to concentrate, poor judgment, seeing only the negative, anxious or racing thoughts, and constant worrying
  • Emotional symptoms include: moodiness, irritability or short temper, agitation, inability to relax, feeling overwhelmed, sense of loneliness and isolation, and depression or general unhappiness
  • Physical symptoms include: aches and pains, diarrhea or constipation, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, loss of sex drive, and frequent colds
  • Behavioral symptoms include: eating more or less, sleeping too much or too little, isolating yourself from others, procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities, using alcohol/cigarettes/drugs to relax, and nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)


How to prevent it?

  • Take good care of them self--try to balance diet and start a regular exercise routine
  • Get plenty of rest--aim for 8 hours of sleep each night, maintain a regular sleep schedule, and avoid too much caffeine
  • Explore new ways of thinking or doing things, e.g. Is what you are stressed about within your control? What are some concrete ways that you can break up the tasks or problems in front of you so they are more manageable? Take time to prioritize your goals and focus on achieving the most important ones
  • Talk to friends or someone you trust


What can you do as a parent to help?

Building trust in our relationships with our children is therefore of utmost importance. Here are some strategies to build trust with our children.

  • Learn to listen: It is much more than just hearing what they have to say. We can paraphrase our children’s words to show that we are listening, and focus on their emotions. Never enter into a discussion with our children with our own agenda in mind.
  • Open communication: Communication refers to the sharing of perspectives and what is going on in each other’s lives, including being open about our own shortcomings, fears and struggles. It helps our children to learn that no one is perfect and there is always room for improvements.
  • Be truthful and appreciate honesty: Telling the truth from the start helps our children to match verbal and non-verbal communication. When we inform our children to be honest with us, we must respect their honesty by not punishing them. Instead, work with them on how to prevent similar problems from happening again.
  • Be a role model: Nothing turns our children off more than knowing that their parents are not doing what they have preached. We need to lead by example.
  • Keep our promises: Avoid making promises that we cannot keep because breaking a promise can reduce the trust our children have in us.
  • Be consistent: Sometimes, we tend to threaten our children to take away their privileges as a punishment. We need to ensure we can implement what we say. Otherwise, our children will pick up on the empty threats and not believe what we say. We also have to be consistent in the things we say to them to reduce potential conflict with and confusion in our children.

Also read: Is your child being unhappy at school?

Send your thoughts and suggestions at mail@yayskool.com.

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