Most people miss their school days but there is a category of people who dread their school days and feel relieved to be able to leave school.
The primary reason for the latter is that schools can be a significant source of stress for students.
1. Why is School so Stressful?
The most fundamental part of a child’s life is receiving an education and socializing to develop their communal habits.
This is why schools play a crucial role in their life. From the first friend to the first fight to the last day in school, everything becomes a memory, later on in the child’s life.
So, it is no wonder that this important institution called school leaves a deep mark on the lives of children.
Depending on their experiences, every individual recollects their school days with fondness or resentment.
Stress is unavoidable, but if the stress outshines the relief, your child will likely have an extremely distressing time at school.
2. Causes for Your Child’s Stress at School
There can be various reasons or sources of stress for your child at school.
2.1. Too Many Expectations
The child is conditioned to meet the ever-growing expectations thrown at them by society, their parents, relatives, and themselves.
The demands to meet the stretching standards become so taxing on the child that they begin to crack. The child loses themself to please others.
In school, expectations and demands come from teachers and peer pressure.
This is further triggered when children are compared to one another.
2.2. Fear of Disappointing Others
A consequence of imposing one’s expectations on another is the problem of disappointment.
The one who expects excessively ends up being disappointed in the other while the one who struggles to meet the expectations fears this disappointment.
Children try to juggle their studies, grades, tuition, social life, homework, and tests.
They fear disappointing their parents, and teachers and bringing down their social reputation among their peers.
Fear of disappointing others and juggling different expectations and demands result in procrastination.
Students delay their work and projects in an attempt to face these fears.
Procrastination gives them a temporary sense of safety but ultimately leads to regret in the form of last-moment cramming, poor grades, and mental health deterioration.
2.4. Fear of Failure
Too much stress is also a result of a fear of failure, which can be a by-product of the need to be perfect and proper.
As a child is conditioned to believe that failure is unacceptable and shameful throughout their school life, they experience school stress.
Stuck in a rat race to meet deadlines and excel at academic demands while facing test anxiety, your child might start hating life.
2.5. Victim or Witness to Bullying
Many children are victims of various forms of bullying, whether psychological or physical. In every case, victims of bullying bear scars of humiliation and powerlessness throughout their lives.
Also, the ones who witness bullying but do not interfere might suffer from guilt and regret.
Your child might be a victim of bullying but never talk about it as the receiver of bullying.
On the other hand, bullies tend to have a shattered sense of sense, making them abuse someone else’s vulnerabilities. Only the weak try to take advantage of the “easy” targets.
2.6. Dislike for the Subject(s)
This is one of the most common causes of stress for a child at school. They dislike or do not desire to know more about the subject. Thus, when the child is forced to study the subject,
2.7. Medical Reasons
2.8. Problem With a Teacher
Teachers play an impactful role in the lives of students. While some teachers can inspire and motivate a student to reach astounding heights, there are a few teachers who can make a student’s life hell.
From personal hostility to dislike or cold treatment, a teacher can negatively affect a student, causing the latter stress and discomfort.
2.9. Lack of Sleep
Sleeping late only to wake up early in the morning to get ready for school will lead to a short attention span, stress, and irritability in your child.
Adequate sleep is equivalent to a power boost for your child. However, staying up late doing homework, assignments, and preparing for tests can make your child feel pressured.
Individuals who tend to be introverted in nature like their solitude. However, their shy and exclusive nature can be misinterpreted as disinterest in the company.
This can lead to isolation from peers and thus, these individuals feel like they do not belong or fit. This feeling of being left out can lead to distress and compressed grief.
While everyone is different, some individuals seem completely separate from their peers. The way they speak, think, and behave might be unreliable to others.
Such individuals are usually deemed as “outcasts” or “mysterious” in the classes. Though this might seem “cool” in books and movies, the reality is deeper than that. Such individuals feel alienated and have difficulty making friends.
3. Signs of Stress
So, how do you know that your child is facing distress and anxiety in school?
3.1. Always Giving Excuses
From stomachache to classes getting cancelled, your child seems to have a perfect excuse to skip school, frequently.
However, remember that it is important not to ignore signs of pain and health concerns and dismiss them as excuses. You should know how to discern.
3.2. Complaints From Teachers
You often hear complaints from their teachers, especially during parent-teacher conferences. From academic concerns to ‘attitude problems”, your child seems to have a notoriety among the teachers and staff members.
3.3. “Troubled Kid”
The delinquent, the one always getting into fights, the one who skips classes, hangs out with “questionable” people…your child seems to have gained what you could not – fame, even if it is not in a conventional way.
From bruised knuckles to a rough and bloody face, your child is not just showing signs of physical struggle but also psychological stress and emotional pain. It is time you look into the matter and try to listen to your child, without judgment.
3.4. Low Grades
An obvious indicator of your child facing academic stress is the condition of their grade sheet. If the red marks seem to be bleeding out of the paper, it is time to talk with your child.
3.5. Temper Issues
Is your child getting increasingly irritated and shouting while expressing anger and frustration? Perhaps, it is a desperate cry for help.
Instead of blaming your child and getting into an argument where you both shout to prove whose voice cracks better, maybe you would like to breathe and just listen. Find out why your child is suddenly having temper issues.
As discussed previously, your child might feel isolated while at school. Not only does it trigger a sense of abandonment but also a feeling of alienation.
You might even notice your child distancing themself from family gatherings and dinners.
4. Help Your Teen Balance Work and School
4.1. Safe Space
Your child refuses to talk to you not because of pride or a superiority complex but because of a feeling of insecurity and fear of judgment. You need to first show them that opening up to you is safe and sound.
4.2. Listen to Them
Instead of proving your point of how correct you are, maybe listen to your child. Let the struggling kid talk and rant. Not only will this serve as an outlet for their stress but also make them trust you more.
4.3. Talk to Them
Talk to them in a way that makes them want to seek you out if they ever have a problem. Remove the barbs of judgment and criticism, just ask them about their day, and be curious about their joys and sadness.
4.4. Guarantee Comfort
Perhaps a movie day or delicious dinner, comfort your child in any way you can. Carrying the burden of all the expectations and fears, your child deserves a place to take a break.
4.5. Build Trust
Without trust, there is no sustainable relationship. You are responsible for making sure that you build mutual trust and respect between you and your child. Spend time with your kids and be there for them when they need you.
4.6. Guide Them
Whether they need a tutor or quit going to tuition, could you help them? If you think you are unable to talk to your child while remaining calm, seek the help of a professional counselor.
Remember a parent must ensure making the child capable, which includes helping them when they can’t help themself.
4.7. Failure is Just Another Step
This is a key lesson of life. Failure should not be condemned as a forever tragedy in a student’s life. All the successful people in the world failed many times to reach where they are.
Such a clique but holds. If your child fails a test, try to find the reason and help them succeed for the next.
5. Final Words
Schools should not be prisons of dread and suffering but a place for enlightenment and expansion.
Thus, it is the responsibility of the teachers, parents, and administrative staff to make it a place of harmony.
An individual should be able to look back to their school days with fondness and respect instead of fear.