As adults, we’ve all had to deal with and overcome academic stress at some point in our lives. But the pressure to excel is affecting children at an earlier age now more than ever, and the problem starts with premature pressure from parents and peers.
To be sure, stress is not a bad thing. Being challenged is what leads us to learn and become more resilient. The fine line for parents is the need to determine when to let the learning process run its course instead of letting stress interfere with learning.
Instead of focusing on external rewards, such as giving a child a treat for a job well done, parents should focus on internal rewards. For example, you may ask your child, “aren’t you proud of yourself?” to exemplify self-motivation and to reinforce the idea that self-satisfaction is the most rewarding.
Similar with all kinds of stress, prevention is key. As a parent, the easiest things you can do to prevent school anxiety include spending time with your children, providing a stable home environment based on routine, monitor their eating habits, and maintaining an open line of communication with your children.
It’s important to remember that children may choose to manifest their stress in other ways, by lashing out physically or having temper tantrums. When they misbehave, it’s important to try to understand their behaviour and trying to address the root causes of such behaviour, instead of merely punishing it.
Understandably, school anxiety presents itself differently at every age group. Signs of elementary-school level stress include fears and nightmares, negativism and lying, and withdrawal, regressive behaviour, or excessive shyness.
Middle school and high school stress is marked by a need for social acceptance, and students become more aware of the importance of academic success with post-secondary education looming around the corner. Stress in these age groups show up in poor grades and contrary behaviours, as well as more serious manifestations such as the emergence of eating disorders, or alcohol and drug abuse. The most important thing for parents of teenage children to remember is that relinquishing control is a necessary part of allowing your kids to grow up and to come into their own. So instead of coaching and hovering, you should merely check-in with your teen and trust that they are making the best decisions for themselves.
About Global RESP Corporation
Global RESP Corporation (GRESP) is one of the recognized Scholarship Plan Dealers and providers of Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) in Canada since 1998. GRESP is the primary distributor of the Global Educational Trust Plan (GETP), offered by Full Prospectus through registered Dealing Representatives across Canada. Our Dealing Representatives embody decades of RESP experience and aim to provide clients with quality and trusted services, while helping families save for their child’s future education. As of March 31, 2015, the GETP has over $1 billion* in pledged contributions by family members, over $620 million* securely invested in a professionally managed portfolio and has made over $225 million* available for post-secondary education funding to Canadian students studying in 46 countries*. For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.GlobalRESP.com.
*Source: Global Educational Trust Foundation