Secondary school is a huge jump for children. The pressures on them from all angles, not just in the classroom, but at home, in clubs and with friends are different now and at first can seem enormous. As a parent, how do you spot the signs that something’s wrong and that the stress they’re experiencing may be affecting them negatively?
CommunicationAs your child grows up, the walk home from school holding hands and talking about all the exciting things they’ve done and who said what to whom in the playground, disappears when they go to secondary school. There’s no daily playground check when you’d find out if your child had had a good or bad day. Now your child is on a bus or at a club or you’re picking them up down the road. So how do you get that sharing time back? One of the easiest ways is to always insist you eat dinner together at the table. It’s simple habit that will help to create a feeling of community and gives you that touch point with your child. Yes they may come in and sit on their phone or start their homework or go out with their friends, but that family dinner-time is your chance to talk to them openly about their day.
Watch for changes in behaviourThere can be signs that there may be a problem:
- Your child has always been confident, but suddenly seems shy
- They may be spending a lot of time in their room
- They may seem to be obsessed with checking their social media
- They might change their eating habits
- They may become uncommunicative and uncooperative.
- Is there a problem with a certain pupil?
- Are their grades slipping?
- Are they eating at lunch?