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Parenting is no easy feat. You’re responsible for your child’s emotional and cognitive development in a secure, stable environment. However, once they reach school age, part of that responsibility falls off your shoulders. Still, even if they’re at school for part of the day, your child can face new levels of stress and anxiety you must help them with once they come home. Here are four ways to help your child handle school stress for their mental health.

Talk to Them

If you suspect your child is facing unprecedented levels of stress or anxiety in their life, the most important thing you can do is talk to them. Sit down with your child and find the root cause of the problems. Children face various degrees of stress in their lives. Perhaps this is due to confusing or troublesome schoolwork they can’t overcome. They may also face bullying or unrequited crushes for or from other students. Regardless, different scenarios play a large role in your child’s development. It’s up to you as the parent to find out why and talk about possible solutions for a greater sense of well-being.

Encourage Social Bonds

Another way to help your child overcome school stress is through social interaction. Depending on your child’s age, this may play out in different ways. If your child is of elementary age, set up playdates with other parents. This a great opportunity to know other parents in the community, and it allows your child to meet new friends. If they’re older, encourage extracurricular activities. Sports, theater, scouting, and other group activities promote social bonding for your child and help them learn important life skills, including teamwork, self-sufficiency, problem-solving, analytical thinking, and active social involvement.

Consult School Staff

Another way to help your child handle school stress is to consult school staff. The first person you should talk to is their teacher. Naturally, teachers oversee lots of other children in their daily responsibilities, but they’re the best means of communication to ensure proper steps for your child. They can sit with your child and discuss learning mechanisms, test-taking strategies, and additional studying support. If you suspect your child suffers from additional mental health issues, it can also help to consult a school counselor. They have the professional expertise to talk to your child about other issues in your child’s social life, life at home, or other aspects feeding into this stress or anxiety. Sometimes, it takes more than one person to provide the best support for one child.

Encourage Mindfulness

Lastly, don’t forget to encourage mindfulness and self-care. Granted, this largely depends on your child’s age, but mindfulness is one of the best relaxation techniques possible at home. Whether this is mindful meditation, exercise, reading, or self-care, a mindfulness approach can allow your child to connect with their mental health issues in a positive, self-motivating way. You can also join your child in these practices to show your support every step of the way.

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