The world seems to be moving faster, and competition seems to be building.  Students today are often overstimulated and overwhelmed with academic pressure and social pressure brought on by social media.  Here are some pointers to help your child at home.

  1. First thing in the morning, get some sunlight.  Sunlight helps the mind and body to wake up naturally.  Try to keep the noise to a minimum.
  2. No screens in the morning or at night.  Your student should not be watching tv, the iPad, laptop or cell phone in the morning or at night before bed.  The light from the screens tricks the mind into thinking it is daylight, making it harder to fall asleep.  Students become addicted to their phones and can become anxious wondering if someone is trying to message them.  In the morning, no screen time helps the student to stay focused and motivated to get ready for the day.
  3. Exercise and sports.  Exercise increases blood flow throughout the body and brain which increases focus and attention.  The endorphins which are released during exercise help improve mood and reduce stress.
  4. Time management. Sit down with your student and plan out when homework is due.  Work ahead of the deadlines.  Procrastination adds extra stress and pressure.
  5. Set breaks. Allow for breaks during study time.  Setting a break after 30 minutes or an hour helps the student to stay focused during the set study time.  Sitting for long periods of time leads to loss of focus.
  6. Nutrition. Make sure that your student is receiving the proper nutrition to stay healthy and reduce stress.  Too much sugar increases fatigue and distractibility.  Your student should eat a well-balanced breakfast and lunch and then have a snack after school before studying.  Hunger reduces attention and can make people irritable.
  7. Rest and relaxation. Your student will feel unmotivated if they don’t have any play time to look forward too.  Rest and relaxation is not laziness; it is a way for the mind to recover before it has to work hard again in school.
  8. Speak about emotions. Speaking about stress, pressure and emotions help your student to unload some stress so that they don’t get overwhelmed.


Dr Monica Borschel is a US-trained Clinical Psychologist.

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