Stress and Learning

Do you often have to deal with tears because of poor test or exam results? Or are you arguing with your child to get them out the door on time for school because they just don't want to go?

Imagine your child or teen doing well at school, easily remaining focused on assignments, secure in their relationships with peers, adults and family members, and able to deal effectively with disappointments and set-backs. This is not always the case and when you see them struggling, whether at school, in their hobbies or their personal life, you may often feel unprepared to help.

Poor results on tests and exams, inability to focus, low self-esteem, making unwise life choices - these are just some of the signs that your child may be suffering from stress. Think about how you feel when you have deadlines, pressures, disagreements and other demands on your life. As an adult, you are expected to have the skills to handle all these pressures and yet you continue to struggle. Children and teens, who have not yet had life experiences can and do feel overwhelmed and exhibit this in a variety of ways including acting out, withdrawal, depression, feelings of inadequacy and disinterest in life. Their self-esteem, motivation and care to learn becomes stifled.

In school, it is important to have test smarts, stress smarts and facts smarts. This means that by becoming balanced emotionally, test and stress smarts improve which then impacts facts smarts.

Examples of facts smarts would be the ability to remember dates, mathematical formulas and spelling rules. Test smarts would be the skills necessary to perform well during a test or exam, such as when & how to study, or how to answer test questions. Stress smarts would be how to recognize that you are under stress and having skills to transform that stress.

Have you ever struggled to remember something when you were under stress? Do you wonder why you can't remember the simplest things? That's stress at work. Your attention is not on what needs to be done, but rather on the thing that is distracting you, whether it be the argument with a friend or family member or your frustration with trying to master a new skill.

How many of you have studied with your children at home and were confident that they knew the material, only to discover that test results would indicate that it was written by someone who never even viewed, much less reviewed the material. This is cortical inhibition and is a classic sign that the child has frozen during the test.

Unfortunately, unless steps are taken to introduce techniques to deal with this, the effects are cumulative, resulting in more of what you don't want for your child.

No need to lose heart though. There is a solution.

Learning to control your reactions to the upheavals in life can be a challenge. Although it may not seem apparent, you do have a choice in how you react to the stressors in life. By developing skills and practicing them you learn to act in a way that leaves you and your children emotionally, mentally and physically healthy.

I work with your child to teach them to recognize how they are feeling and, more importantly, provide them with alternatives - strategies that move them out of stress and into success.

Contact me to discuss a just-right program for your child. A program that provides skills to weather the stresses of life. I certainly wish I had these skills when I was younger!

What would it mean to you if everyone left the house in the morning, looking forward to what the day may bring? What does that do for your level of stress? You might even have time for that second cup of peace.

To help make your life easier and with less driving, I can come to you!

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