We all know how much stress our kiddos go through while growing up. From social to school to sports, they are inundated with stress. Unfortunately stress acts like a snowball and builds upon itself day to day. When these worries persist, common symptoms that follow are lack of sleep, frustration, and avoidance. This isn't something that goes away as an adult, so we can all relate to our children and the issues they're dealing with.
With this said, while we can relate to our kiddos anxieties, we often overlook all of this if we don't realize it's happening until their grades plummet. Once we are focused on the issue of fallen grades, we can get so worked up and focused on this that we don't have the capacity to find out and really address the cause.
Before the stress and anxiety have gotten your child into too big of a snowball, ask some questions and keep the lines of communication open! Some of the signs you may see even if your child doesn't verbally express their stress are, "Withdrawal from daily activities or interactions with others," "trouble concentrating," "trouble sleeping," "unexplained illness," "increased aggression or anxiety". (To read the original blog article in full, go to: https://blog.mathnasium.com/how-to-tell-if-your-child-is-stressed-in-school)
With report cards and finals right around the corner, don't hesistate to start the conversation now. Talk to your child about how you personally struggle with stress and what you do to handle it. It will help let them know that they're not alone in their struggles and will give them some tools to handle it on their own. It's important to make sure they feel comfortable being open and honest with you in communication. So, if they bring up an idea for a plan of action that you may not agree with, (perhaps quitting a sport, or dropping a class) be careful to listen, contemplate and work through to a process with them. You are the parent, and what you say goes, but unless they feel like they are part of the reason for change and success it won't last.
Some questions you could use to start the conversation with your child are simple but could be a good jumping off point. How are you and your friends doing? Is everything with you and your boy/girl friend okay? How are sports going? There's so much on your plate, is there anything I can help you with - how is homework and school work going?