April and May have been busy months with students taking the SBA test in addition to their normal middle school responsibilities. With only 6 weeks left in the school year many students can feel stressed out with the end of the school year nearing, and projects and tests looming. If your child is feeling stressed out, there are several ways that you can help them cope. The following are some tips on how to help your child cope with stress:

    · Encourage your child to eat healthy, exercise and get a good night’s rest. A healthy body is better able to withstand stress-induced illness.

    · If your child presently appears to be stressed, make a point of spending time with them. Time spent with your kids is a great vehicle for getting them to open up the lines of communication.

    · Be clear in setting rules and be consistent with discipline. Kids live in a “black and white” world. Blurred guidelines and inconsistencies are even more confusing for them than they are for adults.

    · Helping your child to keep their school work organized and encouraging them to schedule time for school work can help to reduce school related stress.

    · Be a good listener. When your child wants to talk about his or her problems, don’t criticize. In addition, it isn’t always necessary to give advice. Sometimes kids just need to talk. Encourage them with open-ended questions.

    · Teach your kids that everyone (including you) makes mistakes. Using personal examples of stressful situations you encountered during your childhood and how you successfully dealt with them can help your child learn how to deal with stress.

    · Teach your kids stress relieving exercises and help them find stress reducing activities they can do to reduce their stress.

    Finally, you can encourage your child to speak with their teacher or school counselor if they need help, are stressed or are having problems.

    As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

    My contact information:

    E-mail: rmiller@everettsd.org                   

    Phone: 425-385-6612

    Fax: 425-385-6602

    Gateway Counseling Department Website  

    (This site includes a variety of articles and resources for parents and students as well as some information about me)

    Ryan Miller