Ways to handle school stress

Read the following case
My son is an adolescent and, to general consensus, he is a consistent and responsible child. To my view, he is getting stressed many times in order to meet all his obligations. His teachers recently informed me that he did not go to school and, as we later found out, the reason was that he did not feel adequately prepared for the scheduled test of that day. After this incident, I would like to ask you the following:

a) What is the process for an adolescent to manage his stress?
b) How determining factor of failure can stress become?
c) Would you provide some advice for the parents?

Thank you
B.N.

The answer is provided by
Elina Gkika
Psychologist – Psychotherapist
Director of MITERA Counseling Support Department

Stress in adolescence is considered inevitable, taking into account all the school workload faced by adolescents. The decisions adolescents have to make regarding their professional future, the changes in their body, as well as, the changes in their social life are some of the additional issues contributing to their stress. In cases where family problems, parents’ relationship problems, a divorce, health issues or the loss of a beloved person (grandfather or grandmother) are also present, these are factors that psychologically disorganize adolescents and worsen their stress.

The stress resulting from the workload should be dealt with productivity, i.e. better school performance. This is what we scientifically call “productive stress”, meaning the reason that forces a person to work more and give its best. This stress recedes after the completion of the test and the person feels “redemption”. Many times, adolescents are bored of studying or underestimate the study load or are incapable of planning their time.

In this case, parents can provide help being beside their son or daughter, studying with them and staying up all night, for some nights at least if not all. This way they prove that they feel for their children and are there to help them through the difficult period of tests. Once more, we’ll post a reminder for parents that children grow in parallel with us and they need us at all ages. This need, at its basis, is filled through substantial communication and understanding. You should also consider the possibility of an alternative reason in the case the adolescent invokes stress for not attending his classes. Stress does not “pop up” all of a sudden and it is directly related to the adolescent’s school duties, as well as, to his character and personality.

Concentration exercises as well as time planning of the adolescents’ daily activities are a very good start for dealing with stress.

Stress in adolescence is considered inevitable, taking into account all the school workload faced by adolescents.

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