How to Recognize if Your Child is Stressed out in School

Oct 11, 2018 | Cinco Ranch

How to Recognize if Your Child is Stressed out in School

By Mathnasium of Cinco Ranch | Added Oct , 2018

Students often experience difficulty voicing problems they may be having in school. The rationale for remaining silent includes a diverse set of very real concerns: the student may be concerned about letting their parents down, they may be in denial, ashamed, or too scared to appeal for help. Many students will hold out hope that the situation will somehow resolve itself, and that, if ignored, may just go away. 
 
While many students struggle to verbalize their stresses and difficulties, there are many signs that point to elevated stress levels. In this article we will explore some of those signs, as well as some effective methods for helping students deal with their situations.
 
Elevated Anxiety or Aggression. Responding in an unusually aggressive or anxious manner can often be indicative of increased stress levels. This behavior can often be triggered by feelings of helplessness, even when those feelings develop in totally unrelated areas.
 
Trouble Concentrating. Stress can distract us from the task at hand. Even in fully mature adults, high stress levels can prevent an individual from being able to focus when they need to. Many students are still learning to navigate the rocky terrain of emotional response, and so stressing out about a single class can often cascade to affect their other classes as well.
 
Unusually Withdrawn Behavior. One of the first and most common reactions to stressful situations is to retreat into the safety of solitude. Fear about other's reactions and the desire to escape make us take a step back. Students will retreat to a variety of distractions, from books to TV to video games. If you notice your student suddenly becomes uncommunicative or withdrawn, it may serve as a strong indicator of stress.
 
Difficulty Sleeping. One of the most common signs of imbalance appears in the form of sleep disruption. For young students, these disruptions can manifest through a wide range of forms, from insomnia to nightmares, and even bedwetting. Often, figuring out the root of the problem and helping your student learn coping mechanisms can help significantly.
 
How to Help
 
The most pivotal thing one can do as a parent or guardian is make your child feel secure, even in the presence of a stressful situation. Approach your child in a non-confrontational manner. Listen when they have concerns and steer away from being overly critical of them. Instead focus on overcoming the problem together, as a team. This will help them feel like they're in a safe space and will allow them to open up about their difficulties.
 
Once they are able to open up, you can work together to figure out how best to deal with the situation. Whether they need homework help or are experiencing test anxiety, identifying the problem allows you to work with them on a plan to overcome it.
 
Acting early when some of these signs show up can yield an incredible impact in the life of your student. These things have a tendency to snowball, so early recognition coupled with a positive response can lead to the whole family moving forward with peace and confidence.