School can be a stressful place for any child. Often going back to school after a half-term break or a long holiday can be hard for a child. Getting back into a routine, knowing they will have homework and early nights again can make a child feel stressed. Expectations of children are higher than ever before and let's be honest, if your child is stressed out then you are going to be stressed out too.
There are plenty of ways to alleviate stress for both yourself and your child. Here are five tips to help you keep those stress levels at bay.
As parents we want the best for our children and sometimes we think that by adding a little pressure we will get them to work harder. Encouraging your child to do the best they can is great but if they don't get the grades they, or you, were expecting there is no need to get angry. As long as you know they have tried their best that is all that matters.
Also, your child may be complaining about having to go to school. They may be having problems understanding homework they have been set or not coping with their maths work. Listen to your child and try to get to the root of any problems calmly. If they are struggling with their work you could always sit and try and work it through with them and if that isn't enough you could seek the help of a private tutor. Your child could be having issues with bullying or with a teacher that they feel 'doesn't like them'. If you know the problem you will be able to deal with it more efficiently and if your child feels that you understand what they are going through you'll be able to deal with things in a much more understanding way.
Children need sleep to be able to fully function and it is recommended that they have a good ten hours sleep through the night. By ensuring your children have a good bedtime routine not only are you making sure they reap the benefits of a proper nights sleep but you will also have some wind-down time of your own before heading off to make sure you get a good eight hours sleep.
Having a structured bedtime during the week will ensure your child gets into a good routine and as long as you stick to it they will get used to the same time each night being bedtime. Make sure your child finishes any homework or school preparation with plenty of time to relax before they head off for the night.
Laughter really is the best way to alleviate stress. Laughing out loud increases oxygen and blood flow which reduces stress levels. Laughing is easy; tell some jokes, watch a funny TV program together or even have a tickling session! And the great thing with laughter is that is rather infectious. Watching your children laugh lightens your heart and takes away both their and your stresses.
In the same way laughter alleviates stress so does music. Just listening to some music together with your child can break down those stress barriers. Putting on some fun music and dancing around the lounge or playing some fun karaoke tunes to see who can belt out Grease's 'Summer Nights' the best will have you both relaxing and shaking off any stress you both may have from the day.
Phones, tablets, i-pads, computers and television have taken over our lives like never before. If you are not on social media 'liking' your friends latest picture of their chihuahua, you'll be playing 'words with friends' with a stranger from New Zealand. And at the same time your child will probably be posting their latest Selfie on Facebook, creating ridiculous pictures on Snapchat or playing Mine-craft with their friends. I am shocked at the growing number of toddlers skilfully swiping their fingers over a screen. Technology can often bring on more stress than we realise and take away quality family time.
Exercise is a great way of relieving stress and can be fun too. Try taking some time-out from all your gadgets and spend some quality time with your children. A nice walk to the park, a family game of football, a fun board game or just some good conversation will not only mean spending some quality family time it can help melt away stresses and fill your home with a calm and peaceful atmosphere.
Children and stress do not have to go hand-in-hand. The best way to help your child is to be supportive and a good role-model. If your child can see that the stress isn't getting to you it will be a lot easier for them to fight the stress away too, leaving the home (and school) environment a more peaceful one.
Post By: Anna Michaelidou
Anna has been a private tutor of both English Literature and English Language for fifteen years having taught all levels from nursery school right through to university level. She has a BA (Hons) Degree in English Literature & Modern Languages, is a writer, content marketing executive and a busy mother of four lovely children.