How Stress Stops Your Kid From Learning

Over the last few years, researchers have found out that stress and the hormones that it releases has a major impact on a human’s learning and memory process. Both things that are very important when put into the context of education. To put everything into consideration, there is also research that suggests how stress while in the process of learning can enhance the formation of new memory. However, stress negatively affects one’s person to remember old memories, so with that alone, it’s clear to us how the negative effects of stress outweigh the positive ones.

There are tons of facilities like On Track Learning that offer tutoring services and even pretest meditation to help your kid manage stress and keep up with his or her lessons. But at the end of the day, it’s still better to look at the root cause of the problem. And in this case, it’s stress.

There a lot of factors that can contribute to the amount of stress that your kid might be experiencing. Here are some:

  • Heavy workload at school. Catching up with too much homework and extracurricular activities can be extremely stressful, even for older kids. And what’s worse is that if kids have too much on their plate, there’s a huge chance for them to fall behind their peers which only adds an extra layer of stress for them.
  • Exam weeks. Standardized tests on their own are already stressful. But if you have a kid that is conscious about their grades, or is simply persistent in maintaining a good GPA, every upcoming exam schedule would for sure be stressful.
  • Irregular sleeping schedule. Anyone who doesn’t get enough hours of sleep would probably be stressed for the day. Imagine having sleep deprivation on top of all the school work. That can be a lot for a kid to handle.

Those things are minor issues and can be solved by sleeping more and getting more organized, right? No. Stress can have quite a few lasting impacts that can affect your kid’s quality of life.

  • Under stress, people find it harder to form new short-term memory. Thus, consequently affecting one’s ability to form long-term memories.
  • Stress can also affect the type of memory that you are able to retain. With too much stress, the human brain finds it difficult to remember details vividly and accurately. So understanding and recalling lessons during an exam may be a huge challenge for students who are under a lot of stress.
  • The impact of stress can last for years and years. You might think that a few weeks of stress can be soothed by a good vacation. While that could certainly help get rid with some of it, the effects of stress hold onto us much stronger than we thought. Studies show that memory issues linked to stress can still be prevalent even up to three years after experiencing the stress. It’s also been observed to have a direct relation to physical health problems that without stress, could have actually been preventable. That’s terrifying!
  • It affects a person’s mood and ability to regulate their emotions. Online reports have suggested that stress significantly increase a person’s sensitivity. Thus, making them prone to getting more irritable and angry. If you have a teenager who already has raging hormones, a significant amount of stress would only make things worse. Some experts also think that stress can either make a kid cope by being a bully. Hence, negatively impacting their social status at school. Or, they can cope by isolating themselves which also ultimately affects their relationship with their peers.
  • More stress leads to less productivity. When kids are trying to manage their stress and cope with all its negative impacts, they would naturally have less time to focus on their original tasks. This could lead to more missed school work, which then leads to even more stress.
  • Stress can also induce fatigue and exhaustion. Those two, if experienced under prolonged periods of time, can lead to cognitive impairment including attention span issues and of course, memory building. But fatigue and exhaustion are already huge building blocks for knowledge. It is much harder to learn when you are tired. Students who are stressed also find themselves less motivated to do school work or let alone walk themselves to school and class.

Stress is a part of our lives that we can never really fully avoid. But we still need to find ways to minimize that to have a more positive disposition in life. Try to make it your goal to give your kid as much support as you can to alleviate their stress in school for a smoother academic year.

Teach your kids how to prioritize themselves, that school and other external factors only come second. Let them know that it’s okay to be stressed about school, but that when it all gets too much, it’s also okay to take a break.





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