Your a parent, or carer, and you only want the best for your kids. - BUT - when you see them upset or stressed it can affect you also and how you react - AND - 2020 is going to be one hell of a fun year come exam time!!
Think back to how you handled exam time - was it a positive or stressful experience? Perhaps you had to study more than you friend to achieve the same results. Did you put this stress on yourself? OR was it parental/peer pressure?
It's quite common for your child not to mention they are stressed but it may be noticed by a teacher, or you may notice their behaviour start to change. They may become surly, withdrawn, argumentative and the list goes on.
Exam stress can affect any student. Whether they’re a high achiever at the top of their class, someone who coasts through without worrying too much about their grades, or a student struggling with a particular class or topic, when exams and assignments roll around, all types of students can experience stress.
As a parent or carer, seeing your child stressed might be upsetting. You might find it hard to understand their worries or be worried yourself if you notice their behaviour changes. Or, you might not have noticed they’re stressed until they, a teacher or a peer says something to you.
Annie Wylie from ReachOut, Australia’s leading online mental health organisation for young people and their parents, recently spoke about what you can do when your teen is feeling the crunch at exam time.
What is stress?
Before you can help, it’s important to understand what stress is.
Stress is a normal bodily response to challenging situations. When we find ourselves in difficult, dangerous or unexpected situations, our body reacts in ways that are meant to protect us from harm. Hormones like adrenalin are released that raise our heart rate and breathing rate, our muscles tense and our focus sharpens.
When it comes to stress about study and exams, a little bit of stress can actually be beneficial.
“Up to a certain level, stress can be kind of good,” Annie explains. “It increases your productivity, it makes you want to achieve goals and it gives you adrenalin and energy to make things happen. But then stress reaches a point and that stops happening, you plateau, and then after the plateau, these effects start decreasing.”
Situations that people find stressful can vary a lot: some people find pressure to perform well at work or study stressful, some people find social situations stressful, and some people find deciding what to eat for dinner stressful. Just like everyone is unique, so are the situations that make us feel stressed. It’s never silly or wrong to be stressed about something, but it is important to relieve stress if it is ongoing or affecting someone’s health or happiness.
How do I tell if my teenager is stressed?
Some teens might straight out tell you when they’re stressed, while others might keep things to themselves or not have the language or confidence to share how they’re feeling.
Annie encourages parents to look for changes in their teenager’s behaviour that might indicate they are stressed.
“You might notice things like them not sleeping properly,” she says,” or they’re getting to bed a lot later than usual or getting up earlier than usual. If they’re feeling generally fatigued and saying they’re tired all the time, that might be a sign of stress.”
Annie also notes other changes in routine, like eating more or less than usual, not spending time with their friends or talking more or less than normal, could be signs that your teenager is feeling stressed.
“A really clear sign is that they don’t enjoy the things that they used to,” adds Annie. “Maybe they were really into drawing before and you’ve noticed that they’ve just totally stopped doing that. That can be a really clear sign that the teenager’s stressed out.”
If you think your teen is stressed, it’s important to do something about it. The action required will vary depending on each child and situation. Follow these six steps to help your teen manage their stress.
If you would like to experience Bowen Therapy for yourself and family members, and get your body back into balance then call Gail on 0417 005510, at SumetBodyworx, to discuss your individual needs.
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Bowen Therapy – The pinnacle of body balance
Gail Tumes is a qualified Bowen Therapist, Lymphatic Massage and Complex Decongestive Therapist, and Scar Tissue Release Therapist, living and working in Forest Lake, Queensland. Having been on the receiving end of Bowen Therapy for over 20 years, in 2015 Gail decided to embark on a long desired career in Complementary/ Alternative therapies. Gail now has her own thriving practice where she works with clients from all walks of life and all age groups providing them with the healing gift of Holistic therapies.
The information on this website is not intended to replace your personal relationship with your GP and is not intended as medical advice or as a replacement for prescribed interventions. The material appearing on the website is for educational use only.