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From Distress to De-Stress: helping anxious, worried kids (Part 2 of 2)

Posted Feb 19 2009 12:00am

Last week, in this article’s , we discussed the importance of actually teaching children how to get themselves into a physical state of being relaxed, explored several suggestions I hope you found useful.

Let’s continue.

Teachers can help student overcome stress by teaching them to identify the impediments they might encounter in doing a certain task.

The teacher can ask:

What’s going to get in the way of you doing this work?
He or she may have to jump-start the students’ thinking by suggesting such things as:
- competing events (family activities, friends call, IM-ing, new video game, etc.)
- lack of adequate place to study
- inadequate prior preparation or skills
- a negative attitude (this is not necessary, I can’t do math, I’ll never need to know this, etc).
- health factors (I’m sick; I’m tired)

Conversely, teachers have to teach students to identify the enhancers; What’s going to make it more likely that you will do this, and do this well?
- I have confidence in my ability
- I feel competent in this skill
- I am committed to learning this because: I have the necessary resources to complete this task, such as materials, sources of information, people supports; parents, tutor, other kids

Teachers can turn distress into de-stress by using the Language of Success

The key is to de-emphasize PRAISE and emphasize SELF-APPRAISAL.

Teachers can encourage self-evaluation by

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