In accordance with clinical observations of recent years, childhood and adolescent depression have become an important part of child psychopathology. Depression in children directly affects their sensitivity and its manifestations are associated with the psychosomatic sphere and the world of childhood psychoses. In addition, it accompanies many physical diseases, hiding under various behavioral disorders, and is accompanied by learning disabilities and school failures. Many students believe that too much homework causes stress. Let’s consider this statement.
How School Increases the Risk of Depression: 7 Factors
School is the place where kids spend half of their day. If the atmosphere there isn’t healthy or is even depressing, then it’s impossible for many children to avoid stress or some other negative impact. There are seven main causes of depression among school children:
- The teacher-student relationship (rejection of the child by the teacher, lack of reinforcement of positive results with simultaneous presence of negative reinforcements, etc.).
- Failures in school (lack of interest in school lessons, worsening of results).
- Demands of parents exceeding the child’s possibilities, expectations from the child of the realization of their unfulfilled dreams, and imposition of their will.
- Bad relations with peers (disapproval from peers, a sense of loneliness, aggressive behavior).
- Low self-esteem of the child (lack of belief in one’s own abilities).
- A traumatic experience (although it affects the overall functioning of the child, it will certainly affect his or her functioning in the school environment).
- Overloading with excessive quantity of lessons at school.
To understand how bad the situation with homework is, you should take a closer look at some numbers. All our infographics are scientifically based! Check the source below each picture.
How Homework Causes Stress: For Those Who Don’t Like Reading
*Research by the OECD from Statista.com
*Research “Homework and Family Stress: With Consideration of Parents’ Self Confidence, Educational Level, and Cultural Background” by Robert M. Pressman et. al published in “The American Journal of Family Therapy” in 2015
*Research by Mollie Galloway, Jerusha Conner, and Denise Pope “Nonacademic Effects of Homework in Privileged, High-Performing High Schools” published in “The Journal of Experimental Education” in 2013
*Research by The Better Sleep Council
How Parents Can Help with Homework and Stress at School
The learning period is a very important time for a young person. The school becomes a place where the child learns, develops new social contacts, learns about personal abilities, and develops internal interests. During schooling, children are exposed to a number of difficulties. School problems can cause a lot of internal problems, and parents have to do everything possible to help their child cope with them.
Step 1: Be supportive during the first visits
The first visits to the school are a serious cause of stress in the student’s life. Even if the kid still went to kindergarten, this change in place and policy environment becomes a difficult task. Stress caused by this event can affect the deterioration of the child’s mood and cause reluctance to attend school. The role of parents is very important at this time. They provide the child with support and a sense of security.
Conversations with the child and showing understanding of its complexities give a chance to improve the situation. Leaving the child alone with his or her problems can cause a deepening of problems. The position of the parents in relation to these first difficulties is of great importance in the formation of the child’s self-confidence and the formation of views. A child who has support from parents will, in later life, more effectively cope with difficulties than a child who does not receive this help.
Step 2: Remember that it’s not only about age
Problems in school are very complex for a young person. Regardless of whether they are caused by the pressure of teachers, problems in science, lack of recognition by classmates, or excessive demands of parents, all this leads to the appearance of many heavy emotions. Changes associated with the action of hormones, and body growth and other changes deepen the negative feelings of the young child and raise each difficulty to the rank of an insoluble problem.
For adults, such difficulties may seem trite, but for a teenager this is really a hopeless situation. The appearance of problems in school can lead to a deterioration in mood and the appearance of regular difficulties. Parents shouldn’t forget that these issues aren’t always temporary: they may have a negative impact on a child’s development for years to come!
Step 3: Don’t use your authority
Although children will respect parents, adults shouldn’t abuse this power. Mutual respect can’t be based exclusively on the age difference. Parents have to prove to their kids that their words and actions are wise and reasonable. Regular punishments and prohibitions won’t help a kid to feel safe and comfortable at home. In such a manner, the depression and stress will only get worse. Discussion is a more effective way to solve any problem and build a trusting parent-child connection.
Step 4: Help with homework and extracurricular activities
It’s okay for children to have difficulties with certain disciplines, and pressuring or forcing them won’t help in this situation. If parents leave their kids alone to fight with loads of assignments, they will feel abandoned and betrayed. In addition, this may cause academic decline. Parents should be supportive and dedicate their time to their children. In such a way, they’ll help their kids to deal both with depression and homework.
The Role of School in Children’s Life
Excessive frequency or repetition of unpleasant experiences that accumulate in fear can lead a child to depressive behavior, aggravation of the situation of helplessness, and insecurity. In the context of the functioning of a child or adolescent in school, these experiences are an important element in the development of a person growing up. From the first minutes you can see the quality of a child’s functioning, the ability to motivate or lack thereof, relationships with peers, teachers, etc. But does homework cause depression in reality?
Keep in mind that the school is the second most important place of development, after the family environment, for the student. There, he or she spends a significant part of the time during the day, establishes contacts, gets experience, learns, gets to know the world, etc. The school is a very important element of a young person’s life, so the atmosphere in this place is so important and provides students with a sense of security.
From early childhood difficulties appear in a person’s life. Overcoming them helps development. Already in the early youth, personality traits which are characteristic for each child develop. Some children are more sociable and addicted to being around others. This allows them to quickly acclimatize in a group. Others develop such traits as shyness, lack of communication, secrecy, and avoidance of conflicts. Such qualities hamper the establishment of new contacts and the adaptation to new situations.
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