As the new school year begins, it is important to help your student feel supported at home. Young children experience stress in school in the same ways that older children do. However, they are without the experience or skills needed to cope with this new found source of stress.
Making a point to support your child at home will help them face the challenges they meet while away at school. Thankfully, providing this support does not require superhuman efforts on your part. We have created a list of four easy and practical ideas on how to support your child at home this new school year.
This verbal support can come in the form of simple statements like: “I’m proud of all your hard work on this project.” It is important that these statements be focused on the child’s efforts and not on their school marks. Focusing on these efforts can help your child feel more confident in their ability to do well in school, and this increased confidence relieves classroom stress and anxiety.
Nightly preparations make school mornings easier. Small preparations like pre-packing a lunch, and organizing school papers help to avoid morning meltdowns. A calm morning and organized backpack ensure that your child will arrive with the materials and mindset needed to have a stress-free day at school. Going through these steps together will also encourage your child to make these nightly preparations a habit.
Homework is assigned as a tool to help children better understand their in-school material. These assignments can be particularly stressful. Fortunately, they don’t have to be. Sitting with your child while they work provides them with an opportunity to ask questions. It is this exchange that allows your child to become more familiar with their coursework and thus less stressed by it.
A physical and mental break from school studies is essential. Playtime outside has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress significantly. Just 30 minutes of free play a day can give your child the opportunity they need to regroup psychologically and emotionally. This reset will ensure that they are ready to take on the next school day.
Admittedly, these are not the only ways to provide your student with support in school. Every family is unique and so will be their ways of supporting each other.