Children and Anxiety: School Stress Starts Early

Children and Anxiety: School Stress Starts Early by Caryn Reppen, LSW, School Social Worker
Posted on 01/15/2020
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Call it pressure, or high expectations; whatever its name, the consequences are the same: school stress. It starts as early as kindergarten, and it turns play into a competitive sport and the joy of learning into a real struggle.

Stress itself is not a bad thing according to child psychologist, Brenda Bryant, PhD, Professor of Human Development at the University of California, Davis. One is truly not alive without stress. Being challenged makes one learn new things and keeps one’s brain functioning. In all the major theories around learning, stress is a factor. But when stress starts interfering with development and day-to-day functioning, its consequences can be detrimental.

Here are some tips to keep healthy stress from becoming distress:

  • Spend quality time with your child (put down the electronics).
  • Give your children a stable home environment.
  • Negotiate home rules and consequences for rule breaking (Remember to stick to these rules).
  • Monitor eating habits.
  • Don’t just talk to your kids, communicate with them. When children misbehave, try to understand their behavior.
  • Avoid constant threats of punishment.
  • Communicate with school staff if issues arise that interfere with daily functioning (DeNoon, 2007)
  • Give you child strategies to help him/her cope with stress. Encourage keeping a journal, practice doing deep breathing with your child, exercise, and laugh.

Gottesman RTW Academy is dedicated to supporting the emotional needs of our student population and their families. We offer grade level groups, individual meetings, and parent workshops to help educate and teach useful coping strategies.

As part of our workshop series, on February 12, 2020, we will have a session called “Anxiety, Anger and Attitude” to address anxiety concerns at school, as well as at home. This will be conducted by Marianne McCrone, MS, NCC, LPC who is employed at Jewish Family Service of MetroWest.

Additional programs at Gottesman RTW Academy

  • Tuesday January 21st 7:00 PM: “An Evening with Dianne Grossman” from Mallory’s Army
  • Monday January 27th 9:15 AM: Baby Fun & “Ask the OT” with Sandra Bostwick, OTD/OTR-L
  • Wednesday February 12th 7:00 PM: Workshop: “Anger Anxiety and Attitude” Marianne McCrone, MS, NCC, LPC
  • Sunday March 22nd at 9:00 AM: GRLPWR Leadership Day for girls 8 to 108!

DeNoon, D. (2007). Your child and anxiety: School stress starts early. Retrieved from WebMD website: http://www. webmd. com/anxiety-panic/features/school-stress-anxiety-children.