UNDERSTAND MIDDLE SCHOOL STRESS

Did you have a stressful day?  Your child may have, too.  Aside from the typical demands of homework and chores, some middle schoolers are bothered by:
  • Problems with friends.
  • Significant tension in the family.
  • Being overly self-critical.
  • Too many extracurricular activities.
  • Unrealistic expectations of themselves.
It’s important that your child learn to manage his stress level.  Kids who cope poorly with stress can become anxious, withdrawn, ill or aggressive.  It may help if you:
  • Keep an eye on how stress affects him.
  • Really listen when he talks.
  • Encourage him to eat and exercise regularly.
  • Help him break big tasks into small, manageable parts.
  • Support his involvement in positive social activities, like sports.
  • Give advice about relaxing techniques, such as exercising, deep breathing and talking things out.
By supporting your child in many ways, you’ll make it easier for him to face the challenges of middle school and beyond.
http://www.aacap.org/pubilcations/factsfam/66.htm Source: "Helping Teenagers with Stress", American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Reprinted with permission from The Parent Institute, a division on NIS, inc., www.parent-intstitue.com (c) 2006