All students encounter stress at some point in their academic careers. How the stress is handled can determine how successfully he/she copes when faced with subsequent stressful events. LD students tend to experience more stress, anxiety, and failure compared with their non-LD. There can be a cumulative impact from repeated stressful experiences that can lead to negative emotions, depressed mood, and physical complaints such as upset stomach. Chronic stress can have a negative impact on one’s health and happiness, as well as one’s ability to learn and be productive in life. Despite all this, it is important to note that a little stress can sometimes be ok for improving performance.
So, how do parents, and, ultimately, the student handle and manage stressful experiences? As Robert Sapolsky, stress physiologist and Stanford professor, indicates, “the mind is a powerful tool for de-stressing the body.” Here are some tips for parents to help students to manage stress:
Make a habit of asking your child how he/she feels about school.
Ask about what is the” best” and “toughest” part of your child’s day.
Ask questions such as:
“How did you feel?”
“What did you do when it happened?”
“What should you do if something like this happens again?”
Model for your child how to talk about your feelings.
Be a good listener, i.e. be a sounding board for your child, as well as a safe outlet.
A supportive adult can make all the difference in how a child can manage stress throughout school.