Oakbrook 101 Blog: Helping students deal with stress
By Oakbrook Prep Counselor Ashley Hairr, LMFT-A
As a teacher and a counselor, I witness our students as they deal with pressure from a lot of different areas. It might be friendships, relationships, classes, teachers, parents, and themselves. As a parent myself, I know that I want to take away the things that are causing pain for my child and I definitely don’t want to add to their stress. But let’s face it we sometimes -- or all the time -- talk a little too much. So how can we, as parents, help them deal with the stress?
Here are 5 strategies for helping your child deal with the stress they are facing:
1. Ask them about the good first.
After school, ask them what they enjoyed about their day. I like to say, "What was your favorite thing that happened today?
2. Give them credit.
We want them to learn from the mistakes they make and sometimes we want them to learn before they make a mistake. What would change if we first focused on giving them credit for the things they were able to do? They may not have passed a math quiz today, but they actually got up on time and got themselves ready for school without someone constantly reminding them to brush their teeth. So, “you did a great job being responsible this morning."
3. Ask them what they could do differently when they mess up.
We know they are going to make mistakes. We all do it every day. When someone comes to me with a problem, I like to talk through it with them. I may see a very obvious answer to the problem but I try to let them come to it on their own first.
4. Let them take something off their plates.
They may feel like they have to do it all. They may be telling you that they want to, but they may also feel like they fail if they don’t do it all. We know that’s not true, and all we really want is to see them be happy. So, sometimes something might need to go for a little bit and that is okay!
5. End the day on a good note.
I know that right before bed can be the most stressful time of their day. They have had a long day at school and then come home to work on homework and do extracurricular activities. You are tired, they are tired and we forget to remind them that tomorrow is a new day. Sometimes they just need to hear how proud you are of them.
As parents, we have to remember we aren’t perfect. We try our best but we make mistakes too. We can use these times to show our kids that it is okay to not know everything and to mess up sometimes. We model to them that everyone deserves grace.