School days are said to be the best days of our lives but the reality is that for many children, school can prove to be a stressful experience.
At A Star Tuition Group, the emotional wellbeing of our pupils is our top priority. We understand that children today face a magnitude of pressure and from friendships to the demands of exams, challenges will inevitably arise.
So what can you do as parents and carers to help your children to navigate the waters?
Whatever the source of stress may be, remember that seemingly minor issues can develop into much larger ones in the mind of your child. First and foremost, it’s important for children to feel they can talk about what may be troubling them….
A regular routine can help keep academic progress on track. Whether homework is tackled before or after their evening meal or any extra-curricular activities will vary according to what works best for your child and your own family routine.
Typically Years 3 and 4 will receive two exercises per week with Years 5 and 6 receiving two to three-although this is likely to increase in preparation for SATs and the transition to high school. Plan homework sessions into manageable chunks of time to prevent your child feeling overwhelmed.
Set aside time to sit side-by-side with your child so they know they have your full attention and can ask questions freely. This way you will also get a sense of how they are approaching a specific exercise and can then offer guidance as necessary.
Don’t leave project work until the night before! It stands to reason that when time is taken over a task, the end result is likely to be of a higher standard than when it is rushed. As adults, we know from experience how daunting it feels to undertake a piece of work in its entirety the night before a deadline. A child will feel proud of something they feel they have completed well which will in turn give their confidence a boost!
Encourage daily reading. Perhaps it’s not surprising that kids who read regularly perform better in vocabulary and spelling but it’s worth noting that they also tend to perform better in maths-probably because reading introduces young people to new ideas. As well as teaching them new vocabulary, it helps them understand and absorb new information and concepts.
However well schools aim to minimise pressure in the run-up to exams, it’s impossible to ignore their significance, so preparation is key. It’s accepted that full understanding of a concept only comes with revisiting, retrieving and revising it. Help your child establish feelings of control over the preparation process by working out a revision timetable together.
Tuition is another option to explore as a means of building confidence and maximising the potential for exam success. At A Star Tuition Group, we have proven methods that boost pupils’ test / exam results!
A good work/life balance is as important for kids as it is for adults. Downtime is crucial to their wellbeing, allowing them the opportunity to let off steam. Tech can be overstimulating, so limit time spent playing games on the PS4 or Ipad. Instead, encourage your child to participate in a sport or outdoor activity; the role of exercise in reducing stress hormones and boosting endorphins can’t be over-emphasised.
Furthermore, a well-balanced diet will help prevent fluctuations in blood sugar levels and stress hormones, which in turn leads to improved coping skills.
Squabbles between school friends are part and parcel of life and are usually resolved quickly in the playground. But if the issue escalates to the point where a child feigns illness or even refuses to go to school then clearly action needs to be taken. Speaking to the class teacher, who can then mediate between both parties, is usually enough to bring the dispute to an end.
In this situation, reassuring and praising your child will go a long way towards boosting their esteem and developing their resilience.
Stress levels in children can negatively affect their ability to fall or stay asleep. Addressing the underlying cause of their anxiety by encouraging your child to open up to you is the first step in tackling the problem.
Establishing an appropriate bedtime routine will increase the chance of optimum sleep. This might include avoiding tech immediately before sleep and listening to restful music or practising mindfulness or meditation instead. Use of relaxing essential oils and soothing lighting can also help. It is enormously reassuring for your child to know that you are nearby and will come check on them.