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From Distress to De-Stress: helping anxious, worried kids (Part 2 of 2)

Last week, in this article’s first part, we dis­cussed the impor­tance of actu­al­ly teach­ing chil­dren how to get them­selves into a phys­i­cal state of being relaxed, explored sev­er­al sug­ges­tions I hope you found use­ful.

Let’s con­tin­ue.

Teach­ers can help stu­dent over­come stress by teach­ing them to iden­ti­fy the imped­i­ments they might encounter in doing a cer­tain task.

The teacher can ask:

What’s going to get in the way of you doing this work?
He or she may have to jump-start the stu­dents think­ing by sug­gest­ing such things as:
— com­pet­ing events (fam­i­ly activ­i­ties, friends call, IM-ing, new video game, etc.)
— lack of ade­quate place to study
— inad­e­quate pri­or prepa­ra­tion or skills
— a neg­a­tive atti­tude (this is not nec­es­sary, I can’t do math, I’ll nev­er need to know this, etc).
— health fac­tors (I’m sick; I’m tired)

Con­verse­ly, teach­ers have to teach stu­dents to iden­ti­fy the enhancers; What’s going to make it more like­ly that you will do this, and do this well?
(exam­ples)
— I have con­fi­dence in my abil­i­ty
— I feel com­pe­tent in this skill
— I am com­mit­ted to learn­ing this because: I have the nec­es­sary resources to com­plete this task, such as mate­ri­als, sources of infor­ma­tion, peo­ple sup­ports; par­ents, tutor, oth­er kids

Teach­ers can turn dis­tress into de-stress by using the Lan­guage of Suc­cess

The key is to de-empha­size PRAISE and empha­size SELF-APPRAISAL.

Teach­ers can encour­age self-eval­u­a­tion by Read the rest of this entry »

From Distress to De-Stress: helping anxious, worried kids (Part 1 of 2)

Teach­ing kids how to relax.

Con­sid­er this vignette:

-Rox­anne: (agi­tat­ed and loud­ly) I can’t stand this freakin book!

-Teacher: Rox­anne, you need to take it easy. Just calm down! Try to relax.You need to fin­ish your read­ing.

-Rox­anne: (to her­self) Right easy for you to say, teacher. But very hard for me to do. What do you mean calm down? I feel like my head is going to explode.

-Teacher: (see­ing no response) Well if you can’t set­tle down, maybe a trip to the office will help you!

Some kids are so agi­tat­ed that even if they know how to relax, they can’t. If you think about it, calm­ing down when you’re upset is the hard­est time to do it! Oth­er kids can’t calm down or relax because they don’t know what that feels like. Teach­ers, occu­pa­tion­al ther­a­pists, phys­i­cal edu­ca­tion teach­ers and par­ents need to actu­al­ly teach chil­dren (of all ages) how to get them­selves into a phys­i­cal state of being relaxed. This doesn’t hap­pen auto­mat­i­cal­ly. If it did, there wouldn’t be so many adult yoga class­es!

Set­ting the men­tal and emo­tion­al stage for suc­cess.

Teach­ers who want to reduce stress and increase learn­ing know that get­ting kids into a pos­i­tive mind­set will do both. They say Read the rest of this entry »

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