Helping Your Student With Their Stress

Challenges That Are Good For Learning

We’ve covered something called the “productive struggle” in a previous LearnED story.

It’s a concept in learning, according to Brad Ermeling at Pearson’s Center for Educator Learning and Effectiveness, that’s

based on “a large body of research in psychology and math education” that indicates “some forms of struggle are actually productive for student learning.”

Often, there are positive benefits as students grapple with tough concepts. And as parents and teachers help their children find the right balance between productive struggle and academic-related anxiety, there are a number of tactics they can use to keep their students on the right path.

Deal With Stress

stress1Be mindful of your own stress.

Parents can pass on stress.

Kids often say the biggest cause of stress is their parents, notes educational psychologist Michele Borba. Be sure to manage your expectations when you communicate with children and make sure they know you love them no matter the grades they get.


Stress2Listen to what your child is saying.

When listening to your child about stress, be sure you’re really listening, writes Christine French Cully, editor in chief of Highlights for Children, Inc.

Sixty-two percent of kids in a “Highlights” survey reported their parents are sometimes distracted when they talk to them. Cell phones ranked as the number one distraction.


stress3Teach healthy habits.

Research has shown that a healthy breakfast positively impacts academic performance, according to the NBC Parent Toolkit, supported by Pearson. A breakfast rich in nutrients will help your child stay alert during periods of high focus.

It’s also important to make sure they are getting enough sleep the night before.


Article Spotlight

Parents who have math anxiety are likely passing that stress along to their kids when they attempt to help with homework.

That’s according to recent recent published in Psychological Science and reported in The New York Times that shows children whose parents had math anxiety learned less math and were more anxious the more their parents provided help on their math homework.

“The parents are not out to sabotage their kids,” Sian L. Beilock, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Chicago, tells the Times. “But we have to ensure their input is productive. They need to have an awareness of their own math anxiety and that what you say is important.”


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