8 Simple Ways to Help Your Daughter with School Stress
Guest post by Cloe Matheson
Many of us will look back on our time spent at school with fondness. But are we forgetting all the stress that school brought? What with academic work, extracurricular activities, and relationships to juggle, perhaps our salad days weren’t as carefree as we now remember.
Today’s education system is putting our girls under more pressure than ever before. With a few strategies and tips in mind, though, you can effectively help your daughter to manage her school stress.
1. Avoid overscheduling activities
With high school and college admissions becoming ever more competitive, some parents are forced to think early on about how to help their daughter stick out from the crowd. This often means signing her up to more in-school or after-school activities than she can cope with. The whole point about being young, though, is that girls don’t have to act like adults (or have an adult’s timetable!).
Focusing on just one or two extracurricular pursuits will be more beneficial to your daughter and her college application. This way, she’ll have more time to concentrate on honing her skills and excelling. The key is to sit down with your daughter and work out which activities she’d like to invest her passion and time into – leaving lots of space for leisure in between.
2. Encourage fun and play
Make sure you encourage your daughter to have fun and play. Rather than strictly prescribing what this fun should be, provide your daughter with outlets that will allow her to capitalize on her interests. If your daughter loves to create art, for instance, you could help her set up her own stand at your local market or fair and show her masterpieces to the world.
3. Set a routine
All girls crave some degree of routine to really flourish at school. In particular, your daughter needs to have a solid evening routine in place so that she’s properly rested for the next day. To this end, it’s a prime idea to set a regular bedtime and no-device rule.
4. Spend quality time together
Every day, make an effort to spend time with your family, and especially with your daughter. Whether it’s going for a weekend away with just the two of you, sharing a nice meal, or just going for a walk around the block, this quality time together is invaluable. In particular, it allows your daughter a regular space in which she can speak up about anything that’s giving her worry at school.
5. Model healthy boundaries
While spending quality time together is integral, it’s also important not to be too overbearing. Sometimes kids need to be allowed to make and solve their own mistakes, without a parental figure looking over their shoulder.
6. Preach Health 101
The importance of physical health to stress management cannot be overstated. By teaching your daughter to care for herself by eating healthily and exercising, she’ll be ready to tackle all the challenges school throws at her.
7. Lead by example
Be an example of positive thinking during your own times of stress. If you get knocked back for a work promotion or are struggling to keep up with your own peers, model to your daughter the importance of positive self-talk and perseverance. Most of all, show her that failure and adversity aren’t final, or even negative – they are just a spur to something better.
8. Seek professional help
Most of the time, school-related stress isn’t a cause for concern, but rather a chance to learn new organizational and social skills. However, some cases are more serious. If your daughter is so worried about what she’s experiencing at school that she’s become a shadow of herself, it may be time to think about getting her some professional help. Contact your school in the first instance, and see whether your daughter can access any in-house counseling services.
Cloe Matheson is a freelance writer from Dunedin, New Zealand who enjoys reading as much as she loves writing. She has produced articles for many sites, blogs, and local businesses. You can find more of her work here.