Prevent Back to School Stress
It’s that time again, and the stress rises as the kids start back at school. Stressors that children feel once they are back in school might not be something we even consider; however, clothing, appearance, school violence, bullying, peer pressure, homework, what people to avoid, and not liking a teacher or a class can all create a great deal of stress for our children.
To prevent back to school stress, the most important thing a parent can do is know and understand what some of the signs of stress are. Children express stress in a variety of ways, and not every child will express it the same as another, but some of the common signs of stress in children can be seen as decreased pleasure in everyday activities, grouchiness, fatigue, acute sensitivity to criticism, mood swings, acting-out behaviors, changes in sleep patterns, anger, and feeling sick all the time.
When a child feels stress, one of the sure ways to combat it is to understand and support your child. Even if you think the child is overreacting to a situation, to the child, the situation is big. Listen to your child’s concerns and offer valuable feedback that may be helpful. Applaud their successes, not just sports or art applaud them for everything including chores at home or other skills at school. Praise can go a long way when you are trying to prevent back to school stress.
Back to school stress relief can be found in something as simple as diet. Though diet may seem odd as a stress reliever, we need to remember we are what we eat; therefore, nutrition plays a valuable role in how a child deals with everyday stressors. A balanced diet provides the nutrients needed to generate energy. Those who eat a lot of sugar can have high-stress levels. This is because this sweet substance can exhaust the adrenal glands, leading to depression and irritability. A high-protein breakfast that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables can aid a child in preventing stress.
Along with a good diet, children need movement. Often at school, children are required to be quiet and sit for extended periods of time. Children and adults seem to be moving away from daily exercise, and this includes the schools. Exercise helps produce more energy in children, which in turn can boost academic levels. It keeps muscles stronger and releases positive hormones to the brain. Offer your children the time they need to get up and out to exercise. Encourage them to ride their bikes, play in the yard, go for walks, or participate in some other form of physical activity. Sitting in front of a TV or playing video games will not help reduce a child’s stress level.
There are many simple things that can prevent back to school stress in a child. The most important way to handle the stress a child may feel is to pay attention and to love your child unconditionally.