My daughter has always been a worrier, but recently she has been getting very stressed out about her school work and exams. She cries all the time and spends every night doing her homework and then checking it over and over. Her school marks have always been good and I’ve tried telling her that she will do fine, but she doesn’t seem to hear what I say. How can I help her?
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If you are really concerned about your daughter then I would suggest you take her to the doctor to ensure that she has no underlying conditions. Have you asked her what she is so worried about? Sometimes, just asking this question can help. When she has told you what she is so worried about, ask her what she would do if that happens. Most children worry because they do not have the ability yet to realise how to solve a problem. Once they realise that even if the worse they feared happened they would actually be OK, it lessens the stress.
What you could do on a practical level is to set her a time limit to do her homework in. After the time limit has passed, take the books away and do something fun with her before returning to the homework. You could even check it yourself. The key here is to get her out of the habit that she has got herself into. If you cannot do this and she gets even more stressed, then there may be an underlying issue that needs to be dealt with. Also, look at what you are doing; are you adding to the stress by making a big deal out of the way she is behaving? When she is doing her homework do nice things for her – taking her up a hot chocolate for example, inviting friends around to do it with her ensuring she has breaks. You may have to be quite forceful here. Telling her daily what is great about her, outside of her excellent school work, will help her realise that there is more to her then just a grade.
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