Kids Under Pressure and What We Can Do About It

Helping our teens manage the pressures unique to their generation is top of mind for parents and educators in today’s world. This week, I am pleased to share with you a recording of a community-wide parent education evening that took place at Stanford University as part of the Challenge Success program. Santa Margarita is proud to partner with Challenge Success, a Stanford-based organization working with schools, families and communities to embrace a broad definition of success and implement research-based strategies that promote student well-being and engagement with learning.

From Challenge Success: There is a rising tide of stress and anxiety today surrounding our youth today, with unprecedented pressure to achieve at all costs. During this presentation, psychologist and educator Dr. Lisa Damour, best-selling author of “Under Pressure” and “Untangled,” joins Challenge Success co-founders Dr. Denise Pope and Dr. Madeline Levine as well as two students to share tips and strategies on the evening theme: "Kids Under Pressure and What We Can Do About It." In this presentation, Damour shares the value of healthy stress and practical solutions for how families and schools can supports kids to have balanced and fulfilling lives.

I encourage our entire community to watch the presentation below and let me know what you think!    

5 Ways Parents Can Help Teens Manage Academic Stress:
A brief guide to Dr. Damour’s invaluable advice
  1. We have powerful and misguided misconceptions about stress, and Dr. Damour shows us what we can do to change the narrative for our kids. Reframing stress, the way she suggests, can be invaluable for us and our teens. She explains why school is actually supposed to be stressful (truly), and what teens need to know about themselves to make the stress constructive.
  2. Sleep is the single most important issue in the stress and anxiety we are seeing among our kids. Dr. Damour offers small changes that can make a huge impact in how much sleep our families get.
  3. We may wish that our kids were motivated or even fascinated by everything that happens at school and that focus and learning were effortless. But we might need to be a little more realistic. She explains how students can find motivation when it’s not easy to come by.
  4. We need to be careful about what we praise and how we convey disappointment. Doing this the right way can reduce stress for our teens.
  5. We want our kids to be happy when they grow up. We say this, and mean it, throughout their childhood but we prod our kids towards the wrong things. We need to better understand what really causes happiness in adults and share those values with our kids. Psychologists already know what makes us happy and Dr. Damour shares this with us.
    Originally appeared on Grown and Flown.

At SMCHS, we are continuing to work together to make the school world for your children as supportive and engaging as possible. As a Catholic school, we seek to empower students in all areas of their lifelong learning nurturing not only the developing mind but also the body and spirit for overall wellness. As part of our efforts to reduce load and maintain rigor, we are looking forward to the trial run of our modified block schedule in the coming weeks. As always, we value your feedback. Following the trial run, a survey will be sent home to both parents and students. The information that was emailed home regarding the trial run can be found here: DOWNLOAD PDF 

I also want to remind all parents to attend the following event next week. I hope to see many of you there! 

SM Counseling/Mothers Club Coffee – Achieving Balance & Life Skills
Nov. 15 from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. at the RSM Bell Tower

In our busy world, we all strive for balance for in our own lives and for our hard working and busy students. Our panel of experts will share strategies aimed at helping parents better understand and how to encourage our kids in their pursuits while staying mindful of wellness and a healthy mindset. Advice will be beneficial for the whole family!

All SM parents are invited to attend. RSVP here

Did You Know?
When students feel able to meet parent expectations, they are less likely to be worried and stressed about their schoolwork and less likely to suffer from physical symptoms of stress. Source: Challenge Success

With the love of Christ, we are better together, 
Cheri L. Wood, Principal

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