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January 26, 2021

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Managing pupils’ stress amid pandemic

In light of the 2020 global Black Swan event we call “the COVID-19 pandemic,” the importance of mental health has become prominent.

Teenagers who have sought to manage academic stress during this time of uncertainty have not been exempt from the impact of stress.

Below are a few recommendations for parents to assist your adolescents in managing the stress they may be facing.

Purpose

During times of stress it is easy for teenagers to lose track of the reasons why they are doing what they do.

This lack of focus can significantly impact productivity and enjoyment.

It is important for parents to guide or remind children to focus on the purpose of education, as well as other values held by the family.

Additionally, encourage your child to consider how or if these identified values are important to them.

Priority

Once values have been reflected upon, it is important for parents and adolescents to collaboratively develop a plan of priorities.

Daily, weekly and monthly activities can be categorized into one of four quadrants: not urgent, not important; urgent, not important; important, not urgent; urgent and important.

Organizing these tasks can help teenagers clearly see what they should and shouldn’t focus on.

Perspective

Because of their limited life experience and brain developmental stage, it may be difficult for adolescents to maintain proper perspective during times of stress. Teenagers may feel their world has ended if they failed an examination or have lost a friendship.

As parents, it is key to help your child gain a proper perspective for the significance of a situation, in the context of life.

This is best done not by minimizing their experience or feelings, but by listening, empathizing and then gently sharing an alternative way of seeing the situation.

Remember though, your teenagers are not you, and though seemingly similar, their lived experience is different.

Pleasure

Sometimes parents may forget that an important way to support adolescents in dealing with stress is to make sure they have set aside time for enjoyment.

Weekly time with friends, family and creative exploration are keys to maintaining a healthy and balanced life.

This sometimes may mean stepping in and forcing your teenager to have a break when you see that they need it, even if they do not want to.




 

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