Head of School’ s Tip of the Week (February 2, 2018)
To help your child be more focused and less anxious at school, try helping her/him find ways to be calm and relaxed at home.
As Dr. Stuart Shanker explains in his book “Self-Reg,” spending time doing something calming can profoundly help people deal with stress. However, he emphasizes that it is important to understand the difference between calmness and quietness.
Quiet: When a child is playing a video game, watching a movie or on social media, she may appear calm, because she may not be moving or making noise. However, her brain is being excited, and she is not in a state of self-awareness.
Calm: When a child is calm, she is in an entirely different state. She is relaxed, aware of what is going in inside and around her, and she is enjoying herself and the state she is in.
To help child self-regulate and reduce stress, help her discover activities that help her feel calm. As Dr. Shanker points-out, “there is no one-size-fits-all answer to what a child will find calming.” So, have your child experiment: they may find their fit in reading, music, art, or physical activity.