A child who has been an A grade student all through their elementary school may start falling in grade as he/she enters High school. While we can not negate the fact that studies in high school are tougher than in elementary school, many a time this may not be the main reason for the child’s falling grades. There could be some psychological factors and stress affecting their performance. A child during the teenage years is passing through many physical and emotional changes which can also put them under much stress.
At the high school level, your ward will have a more of goal-directed studies. He will want to secure good grades in subjects he wants to take up in his professional college later on. At the same time, he/she may be moving into a different study group because of his choice of subjects and has to adjust to the new social setup such a group offers to him. The friends he had been easy with all his school years may not be with him anymore and belong to another study group.
The teenager also feels more of academic pressure coming towards him as there is always an air of competition amongst students at this level and each wants to secure grades higher than the others. The level of extracurricular activities also changes. Now they are expected to plan, organize and deliver different projects all on their own.
There are people who are extrovert and not only do they express themselves well they also push their way toward accomplishing goals. And then there are people who are introverts. Introvert children are very intelligent as they quietly observe situations and analyze them. Yet they find it difficult to communicate with others and express their views. Often in a group, they will not speak and even if they do they will be overridden by the aggressive extrovert members. Even their teachers will discriminate between them as the loud and expressive kids will grab their attention.
Such happenings can push a teenager into negativity or depression. You may find your teen quite or uninterested in what’s happening around them or trying to stay within their room most of the time and avoid social interaction. These are signs that he may be suffering from depression and is under stress.
What to Do?
Remember the best thing any parent can do when their child is feeling down is to give them some personal time and an ear to listen to what is bothering them. It may be difficult to make them speak but with persistence and love, you can get them to open up to you. The child may open up and speak about the problem or give you a hint. While you may be full of good advice and guidance for them under such a situation one good advice you can offer to them is to urge them to maintain a journal to record their feelings and daily happenings in it.
How Keeping Journal Will Help Relieve Stress?
- Once the child agrees to keep a journal for his/her daily activities and starts writing them down on a regular basis much of his/her stress are channeled into chronicling their feelings in the journal which will later serve as a record for them.
- Writing down about the daily happenings and how they felt about those events will make them feel better as they can go on expressing themselves as much as they want, inking all their agony and not worrying if they are being heard or understood. If something hurts them, writing about it will reduce much of that hurt.
- Taking a stock of what they recorded over a week will work like a therapy. They will be able to read through what had happened each day, over the week, how it had affected them at that moment, how hurt or happy they were about it and how strongly they wrote it down. They will be able to assess if they had reacted too strongly to a trivial situation and thus learn to control their emotions and not get worked up in similar situations whenever they come up in future.
- A happy chronicle of a happy day will serve as a reminder that while there can be dark moments, happy times coexist with them and this will develop positivity in the child.
- It is best if they can also let you be a privy to their journal. Works best when they cannot express themselves to you orally and the written account can help you better understand them so that you can, in turn, help them deal with similar stressful situations in the future.
- Such children can turn into good writers too and get a bigger audience to see and understand their viewpoints on life’s different issues.
So if you find your teen under pressure and stressed out do encourage them to keep a journal and help them channel all the stress into it.