#11 Helping out a stressed child

Many parents feel powerless to help when their child is stressed and overwhelmed about their schoolwork. It is not just senior students who experience this level of stress, research indicates that for some students this starts as early as Year 7.

If your child is experiencing stress and anxiety related to their schoolwork, here are some strategies you can try.

  1. FIND OUT MORE: Try and discover what it is that is causing the most anxiety. Does your student feel anxious about tests or assignments? Are they struggling to plan and manage their workload? Are they finding a particular subject difficult? It is very difficult to address the issue until you really uncover what the issue is. If they do not want to discuss with mum and dad, you may find asking a teacher who they like and respect to talk to them may lead to a better outcome.
  2. LET THE SCHOOL KNOW: Next talk to your child’s tutor or a teacher that is responsible for your child’s year group. You can either ask the school to investigate further and even take action to address the issue, or you can ask them to keep it confidential as you are just wanting to make them aware of the issue.
  3. DECIDE STRATEGIES: Once the problem is clear, next step is to decide what strategies to try (and you may need to try multiple strategies over time). You may have some ideas of things your child could try, you may find some ideas on the Study Skills Handbook site, or you may need to talk to teachers to learn from their expertise.
  4. DON’T GIVE UP: If a strategy doesn’t work, then try something different.  Different people will have different suggestions so google or talk to lots of teachers or other parents about the issue and see if they have other ideas you could try.
  5. CONSIDER EXTRA SUPPORT: Your child may need additional support. For example from a school counsellor, or a psychologist or a tutor. Make sure you are clear about the issue so you can find the right person to provide the additional support your child needs.

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