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How can I reduce stress at home to help my child do well at school?

Michele Borba
Psychology
Research shows that the conflict kids face at home spills over into their school life and impedes their learning. In fact, family-induced stress can affect kids' learning and behavior for up to two days following an incident.

To help prevent stress at home:
  • Take a vow of "yellibacy."
  • Make your home a stress-free zone.
  • Find ways to de-stress with your kids.
  • Take longs walks, read together, do yoga, or have a family movie night.
  • Be a model to them on how to disagree without it ending in a screaming match.
  • Teach your kids that it's okay for them to walk away from an argument until they are calm enough to return.
  • Teach your child healthy ways to reduce stress.
Tune into your child's unique stress signs, so you'll be able to recognize when he's on overload, help him learn to identify his own stressors (and triggers) so that you can intervene and help him to decompress before something comes to blows.
Reducing stress at home can help your child do well in school because he'll be less likely to be worried or distracted while in class and when doing homework. Some ways to prevent stress from taking over your household include:
  • keeping the lines of communication open between you and your child, and between everyone in the family, so that whenever a problem or potentially stressful situation arises, everyone is able to talk about it
  • taking time to listen if your child is anxious or scared about something in particular, and letting him (and all kids in the house) know that being worried, afraid or confused is normal
  • making sure all family members get enough sleep and exercise and serving regular and healthy meals
  • regularly doing fun family activities, like playing board games or going for bike rides or walks

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.