There are certain moments in students’ lives when they experience extreme nervousness and varying degrees of fearfulness during their academic career. Whether it’s the beginning of a new academic session or the tense period before annual exams, students often come across many stressful situations. These fears may not necessarily be about the curriculum or the grades, but also regarding other factors in their lives. Some students manage to overcome it while others find it difficult to deal with it.
Let’s look at some of the most common fears among school children:
Fear of Failure: This fear tops the list amongst students. Whether it is a class test or an annual exam, self confidence can be deeply affected by failure, causing students to give up on any efforts at improvement.
Fear of Change: Being subjected to an atmosphere outside a comfort zone, because of a change of school or change in city due to the frequent job transfers of family members, can be tough on students.
Fear of Public Speaking: A poll conducted by the UK Times in 2013 revealed that the fear of speaking in public ranks higher than the fear of death amongst students. Many students feel terrified at the prospect of facing an audience.
Fear of comparison: As a result of parental or peer pressure, or a combination of both, students are often compared with their contemporaries on the basis of their academic performance. This can have a long lasting effect on students, in terms of low self esteem and the fear of expectations.
Fear of asking questions: This is one of the most common fears faced by students in a classroom. A student may be curious about a particular topic or a subject, but may feel afraid to ask questions/queries. As this situation remains unchanged over a long period of time, the student’s curiosity levels are affected negatively.
Fear of the future: Making a career choice can cause a lot of anxiety and confusion, especially when students feel that one wrong decision can affect their entire future.
Coping with these fears: What can Parents do?
A parent can help their children in overcoming these fears, by showing them how to face the tough situations that life has to offer.
Most of the times, children experience high levels of anxiety because they do not have anyone to share their troubles with. Parents can play a very important role at this juncture. Engaging in meaningful conversations, listening with patience and giving them solutions can be greatly beneficial.
Some parents can take their children out for a special lunch/dinner and also take them for outings at times when their children are feeling stressed. This can provide a well-needed break. It has also been found that taking children for a vacation rejuvenates them and they can then, come back fresh and highly energized, to do well in academics.
Overcoming the fear of public speaking is a complex task. A prime reason behind a student being afraid of speaking in front of a gathering is that s/he may not be confident about the topic. Parents can help their children overcome this fear by asking them to recite a poem from their school book, in front of the family. Since the child feels greater comfort at home, this technique can work if practiced regularly.
Dealing with fear of failure is also a long-term process. Parents should encourage their kids by reminding them that failure is not the end of the world. Great personalities such as Thomas Edison and Abraham Lincoln have also failed several times, but they didn’t allow these failures to affect their goals and went on to achieve great heights in their respective careers.
Research has also shown that asking students to perform simple meditation, breathing exercises, stretching, and relaxation exercises helps a great deal in overcome some stress and fear.
At the St. Andrews Group of schools, our teachers also work towards providing a stress-free and comfortable learning space for all our students. They are always open to meaningful discussions with students, outside the classroom. We also have a dedicated counseling cell which has helped many students overcome their anxiety issues. These are the key reasons which have made St. Andrews one of the best CBSE schools in Bengaluru and Hyderabad.