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Understanding What Causes Stress
The first stage in preventing
and lowering your own levels of stress is recognizing what stress
is and what the major causes of stress are.

How is Stress Affecting YOU?
How stressed out are YOU?
Let's take a look into what may
be causing your stress levels to
be where they currently are.

Develop a Stress-Relief
Action Plan

Here are some tips for staying
healthy throughout the year on campus and more.

YOUR Stress Relief PLAN : Managing Daily Habits
Knowing how to manage stress
on a day-to-day basis can be just
as tough as dealing with the
stress itself. Here is a guide to
help you along the way.

Stress Relief Products
In addition to a regular stress management program, there
are many tools available to
assist you on your path to a
stress-free lifestyle. Stress Health Network

How To Help The Overwhelmed Child

Burnout isn't just for adults anymore. With stacks of homework, lessons in everything from piano to tae kwon do, soccer practice and household chores, burnout has become a fact of life for many school-age children. Twenty years ago, one in 500 children suffered from emotional problems. Today the number is one in 28.

A recent University of Michigan study also found that a full third of high school students reported feeling "tense" every day due to their combined school and extracurricular workload.

A strong emphasis on standardized testing results is one of the culprits. Focus on test results has led to increased amounts of homework in many school districts. Between 1981 and 1997 the time spent on homework more than doubled for six- to eight-year-olds. With test results closely tied to school district funding, many schools even put undue pressure on young children to score well on exams.

To help your child, you first have to pay attention. If your son or daughter is experiencing two or more of the following symptoms, they may be warning signs of too much stress:
trouble sleeping.
frequent, unexplained headaches, stomachaches or other ailments.
chronic feelings of anxiety, sadness or worry.
becoming unusually clingy, whiny or demanding.
reluctance or refusal to go to school.
irritability or temper tantrums.
binge eating or a substantial drop in appetite.

If your child has these symptoms, talk with him. Also take time to speak with his teachers, the school psychologist or your pediatrician, if appropriate. Parents can also help their child avoid burnout with the following strategies:

Make sure they're organized. Homework is much less stressful if your child has a comfortable, well-lit work space, plus all the tools he or she needs to complete assignments. Provide a calendar to keep track of regular and long-term projects and jointly agree on a study schedule. Once these are in place, however, back off. Research has found that the best high school students are those whose parents didn't apply tremendous pressure about homework during grade school. Too much supervision sends the message that your child is irresponsible or can't complete the work on his own.
Know what their load really is. If it seems like your child has an unusual amount of homework, see if the school is following the National Education Association's 10-minute rule. Multiply your child's grade by 10 - that gives you the amount of time she should spend studying at night. If your child's homework level is greater than this guideline, discuss it with her teacher. Try to use a friendly, non-confrontational approach.
Relax. Teach your child how to relax and enjoy quiet time spent reading, stretching or listening to calming music. Like adults, kids need to recognize their own physical signs of stress and learn how to relieve them.


Remember, even the best students can get nervous when facing tests or new activities. They don't want to disappoint their parents, teachers and themselves. With some attention on your part, parents can go a long way toward helping their kids avoid burnout and school-related stress.

© Your HealthStyle, 2002.

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