Updated: Apr 21, 2022
It’s tough to think about all the pressure our children are under at school. Unfortunately, educational and social pressures can plague their learning experiences, and it just isn’t fair. But luckily, parents are going the extra mile to help their kids bust anxiety about school, starting with leveraging technology.
Let’s look at five things that may trigger anxiety in students attending pre-K to high school and how tech can be utilized to work through them.
Growing Into Who They Are
Parents, remember when you felt lost, unsure, and awkward during your childhood? Or how you struggled with learning in some way? You were essentially growing into yourself, and your children are experiencing this too.
Give your children the support and space they need to grow into who they are. Acknowledge the anxiety they may be feeling about it, and be open to the possibility of it being more than anxiety.
For instance, let’s say your young child isn’t performing or communicating well in preschool. It could be because they’re anxious about being away from you. But, on the other hand, it could also be a speech or learning delay that’s making preschool difficult for them.
So, it’s best to take your child to the doctor and explore the potential for that latter case. If it is a speech or learning delay, you’ve caught it early. You can implement things like reading, music, interactive learning devices, and other educational tech to better their speech and cognitive functions. As a result, they can continue growing into who they are and progressing in their education.
Presenting and Speaking in Public
This one affects older students more, but presenting and speaking in public can trigger anxiety. The higher we climb in school, the more we’re required to give presentations and speeches and participate in performances in front of our peers and the general public.
It can be highly nerve-wracking for adults to stand up in front of people and communicate something, let alone for a child. Even digital presentations can be intense. But our kids can’t avoid public speaking forever, nor can they afford to miss school because they’re trying to avoid public speaking.
Technology can help reduce the stress and anxiety associated with in-person or online public speaking. For example, you can use different tech devices with your child to enhance their public-speaking engagements, like a projector or a sound system. You can also record their speeches when practicing and play them back to see how to make things even better.
Making Friends and Maintaining Relationships
Kids as early as preschool age can experience anxiety as they learn to make friends and maintain relationships. For one reason or another, kids gravitate toward other kids, form cliques, and find best friends.
But if making friends doesn’t come easy to a child, it can do a number on their confidence, social skills, and overall health. In addition, even when kids do make friends, it can be hard to maintain these friendships through the ups and downs that school-aged kids go through.
If your child has a lot of anxiety about school because they can’t seem to make friends and keep them, they can use tech to open up social connection opportunities. The most notable chance of social interaction online is through social media.
Of course, you want to monitor what your child does and who they’re engaging with on these platforms. Still, it’s good to give them some freedom to find their tribe online based on their interests, needs, and goals.
Bullying is one of the most challenging, anxiety-provoking situations a child can endure at school. Unfortunately, things are even more difficult today because of cyberbullying. When a child is bullied, their spirit sinks, mental health issues arise, and they can experience physical symptoms. It can also make a child not want to go to school anymore, further disrupting their education.
First and foremost, know the indicators of bullying. For example, your child may start having frequent mood swings, disrupted sleep, and they may isolate themself. If you notice signs of bullying, open up a two-way conversation with your child about it, leading with comfort and care. Be sure to involve the school and legal authorities when necessary should you find out your child is being bullied.
Then, use tech to help your child work through the trauma they’ve endured due to bullying. Assist them in finding interactive games, safe social experiences online, and resources for rebuilding self-esteem. You can also access remote therapy and counseling services that specialize in working with kids who are dealing with bullying.
Pressure to Do More
We want our children to be better than we are. Although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing outright, it can turn into one if we’re putting constant pressure on them to do more. It can also turn into something unhealthy when kids compare themselves to others at school.
Allowing your children time for leisure and exploration is key. Whether it’s surfing the internet, watching videos on YouTube, or playing video games, allow them the time to just be with themselves.
You can also use the internet to find teams and clubs for your kids to join should they want to participate in sports. Or you can uncover extra-curricular activities with the flexibility to participate in-person or online, in something your child is excited about.
Ultimately, don’t put so much pressure on your kids to achieve, achieve, achieve. Instead, allow them to choose what they’re interested in and time to just be kids.
Technology can absolutely help your child through situations that may cause anxiety at school. However, be sure the relationship with technology remains healthy. Limit your children’s time with their tech devices, internet, and social media to a reasonable amount per day. And help them manage their anxiety with other activities that promote self-care, confidence, and individuality that aren’t attached to technology, to create a nice balance of coping mechanisms.
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