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Term 3, Week 7 Article - Stress & Anxiety - Fri 7 Sept 18

Written on the 7 September 2018

As we approach the end of Term 3 many Year 12 students will be feeling the pressure of finalisng major assessment tasks for moderation. If your son is in Year 12 and currently not experiencing any stress, take this as a warning sign.

There will be times in all students' schooling where they experience stress and anxiety, no matter the year level. It is essential for us as parents to be tuned in to our children to recognise early warning signs so that we can provide the required support.


To nurture self-managing and self-correcting habits in students it is important to raise their self-awareness of their personal warning signs for the onset of stress. Discussions need to occur both at home and at school to ensure all students are empowered to act when they recognise stress warning signs.

These tense feelings may originate from a number of situations such as:

  • Heavy study and learning workload;
  • Overly high expectations of themselves or expectations of others;
  • Striving to be too perfect and obsessed with detail;
  • Lack of organisation and not coping;
  • Peer group problems and pressure.

It is perfectly natural for these to occur as they are a part of adolescence. The key is how to control these feelings before they have too much of an adverse effect on students' self-esteem, health and wellbeing.

A proactive approach is for students to identify and list their main sources of stress/anxiety and their individual warning signs. When they first start to notice these signs they should seek support. From a College perspective, students are encouraged to speak with their subject teachers and Pastoral Care teacher or make an appointment to see our Counsellor, Adrian Terminello, or Psychologist, Karolina Pasierbek.

We can help our children to deal with stress and anxiety by promoting independence from an early age. This is not always easy because our natural instinct as parents is to care for and nurture them. Nevertheless, we should not wait until our children are ready to leave home before we give them responsibility. Training for independence needs to start from a young age and continue into the teenage years.

Some useful ideas include:

  • Encourage your children to do routine household and family activities, eg tidying their bedroom before school, clearing away dishes, preparing after-school snacks.
  • Encourage your children to take responsibility for their own homework tasks. Put young children in charge of their reading and get them to remind you that it is reading time.
  • Children can do quite difficult tasks if we show them how.
  • When children can tell the time, teach them how to use an alarm clock so they can get themselves up and regulate their own morning routine.
  • Be alert to your child's readiness and willingness to do for himself then consider allowing him to take over. Ask yourself: "Is my child capable of doing "?
  • Encourage your children to prepare their own breakfast and pack their own lunch in the schoolbag.
  • Show older children how to operate the washing machine and microwave. These are two essential time-savers for busy working parents.

It can be a common pitfall for busy parents to do things for children that they are capable of doing themselves. Though it may actually take more time initially for parents to support children to independently undertake age-appropriate tasks, your child's self-confidence and independence will grow as a result.

Encouraging independence in children is not just good training for adulthood; it is one of the best ways to promote self-confidence. When we teach children to do jobs for themselves we demonstrate our faith in them and send a powerful message that they are capable. Our actions definitely speak louder than words.


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