STRESS—WHAT’S IT DOING TO YOUR CHILD & HOW TO DEAL WITH IT

Nov 1, 2023 | Special Education, Special Needs, Special Needs Child

STRESS—WHAT’S IT DOING TO YOUR CHILD & HOW TO DEAL WITH IT

Students today are under more stress than ever.

The statistics are compelling and it’s up to us to pay attention. What are those numbers? Since the 1950s, the suicide rate for adolescents has risen dramatically, by a full 400%.

When surveyed about their personal happiness, almost two-thirds of seventh graders (a mere 36%) said they were happy with their lives.

In the past ten years alone, the use of pharmaceuticals to remedy emotional disorders has increased by 68% for girls and 30% for boys.

 

How to recognize signs of stress in your student.

Children and teens often exhibit classic signs of stress. These include social withdrawal, anger, irritability, and mood swings. However, other signs of stress are hard to recognize because they’re internal.

 

What’s a parent to do? How to help your child manage stress.

First things first. How are you dealing with your own stress? In psychological circles, we know that there are no secrets in a family. Whether discussed outright or surfacing through other means, the issues affecting family life are cognizable by its children. Look at the stressors in your own life and honestly assess your own stress-reduction methods. If you have healthy techniques, teach them to your children. If not, learn and practice them together. (See below for a list of healthy habits).

 

Is school a big stressor for your child? Whether there are academic or social issues, enlist the teacher’s help. If you’re a teacher yourself, how many of these methods have you incorporated?

Do you hold morning meetings so students can connect?

Do you teach and utilize mindfulness techniques?

Do you teach and practice deep breathing/meditation?

Do you have discussions on how students can set boundaries on social media? And the consequences if they don’t?

Do you utilize a ‘gratitude attitude’ in your classroom?

Do you teach and practice healthy habits like:

  • Enough sleep: 7-9 hours per night reduces depression and keeps us emotionally and physically healthy.
  • Healthy nutrition/Mediterranean diet: plenty of greens, legumes, berries, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats reduces inflammation and the risk of disease.
  • Regular exercise: stimulates the production of feel-good hormones which elevate mood, reduce cortisol, and help with stress management.
  • Reduce screen time and get moving! The incidence of poor mental health increases in direct correlation with screen time. Set limits and get some fresh air.
  • Cultivate friendships and social connections through hobbies. Isolation increases stress and loneliness and has been called the new smoking. People who have stronger social connections do better mentally, emotionally, and physically.

 


Need more information? Have questions about your child’s educational program? Need help? Feel free to call the SGW attorneys today at 609-409-3500. We’re here to help.



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