HELP YOUR KIDS COPE WITH SCHOOL STRESS
As research finds that 73% of girls and 52% of boys in England feel pressured by school work, Emma provides some strategies
oung people in Y the UK have some of the poorest mental wellbeing in the world, on top of having worryingly high levels of school stress. There is little you can do as a parent to avoid them having to go through SATS, GCSES and the other zillion tests they will have to sit as they grow up, but you can help them to cope with such stressors effectively. Getting children organised is key. My eldest is 15 and dealing with his GCSES and, if I left him to his own devices, he would sit in his room eating crisps and playing games. Instead, he has a schedule that we have agreed together, with revision time, homework time, playtime and chill time. I also sit down with him to go through his revision regularly. It’s helpful to help kids reframe their fears with plan Bs. Often, they genuinely believe that their lives will be over should they fail exams. Tell them about re-sits, apprenticeships and on-the-job training programmes, and also give them examples of successful people who struggled at school. Keep them calm by getting them outside with you for some exercise or a simple walk, and use free Youtube relaxation videos. Anchoring [a technique used to stimulate a positive response from someone] is also helpful – you can learn about it online and your children can use it when they are anxious. Reassure them often, by telling them that your love and support doesn’t require good grades, but effort, and that whether they ace the test or not, you’ll be there for them. Having that explicitly explained has a hugely positive impact.
YOUR GUIDE TO EMOTIONAL ISSUES AND FAMILY LIFE WITH PSYCHOLOGIST EMMA KENNY