How Stress is Killing Our Kids

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Being a student these days can be a tough job. They wake up early, we do 6 and a half hours of work followed by even more work, just in our homes. Studies have shown that in the past 6 years, students have been developing stress-related illnesses. Let me tell you about Anne.

Anne was 16 years old, in grade 11, living in Texas. She woke up every morning at 6 AM, took the bus to school and went through her day in all academic classes. After school, she attended a band practice and then went to work. By the time that she got home, it was 10 PM and she still had 2 or 3 hours of homework a night. Anne was under a lot of pressure from her parents to study, and on the weekends when she wasn’t at work she was locked in her room practicing her math. She killed herself before she could complete grade 11.

Homework. A big topic these days, apparently some school boards are banning homework for primary grades this year. Let’s do some mental math. We are at school aprox 6 and a half hours per day. Add another hour for the average student’s transportation to/from school we’re at 7 and a half hours. Add 2-3 hours of homework we are looking at 8 to 10 hours every day. Isn’t there some labour law that says adults cant work more than 8 hours a day without certain conditions? Why is this being placed on students!!

What are some of the consequences of stress in students? 
Some of the illnesses that can be caused by stress in students are Nausea, Headaches, Ulcers, Tremors, Stuttering, Twitching, Loss or Gain of appetite, Sudden weight gain, Slip in academic performance and nightmares!

That’s a lot of things that are happening every day across Canada and America to teenagers. When you were a kid, did you get an ulcer because you were being over pressured by teachers and parents? Did you develop muscle twitches and tremors? This is very scary, and is happening to OUR KIDS!

What can parents and teachers do to remedy this? I’m not going to tell you to lower your expectations, drop homework and give us a credit card to go wild at the store with, but a bit more support would go a long way.

Lifespan, a company that measures the average life expectancy on a per-year basis said that even if teachers gave students more in-class time to do work and less outside of school, we could actually lower stress levels a lot!

Parents that badger their children trying to get them to study every single minute of their lives, should relax a little. Provide positive support and encourage academic growth. Let your kids have a 10 minute break before they begin homework after they come home, don’t just send them into a cage and make them work!

Being a teen in this day and age is difficult. They are influenced from the media, our peers, siblings, parents, teachers and many other things. Stress is a natural part of live, but when we have people like Anne who are thinking about killing themselves because of stress, we know that we have a problem.

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