Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Excess Anxiety Can Cause Burnout

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Excess Anxiety Can Cause Burnout

Article excerpt

IT was about this time last year that Kate fell apart as she began her final year of high school.

Kate was a terrific student who had worked hard right through and always had great reports.

But, coming back for the last lap, she just ran out of steam. Her assignments started to pile up, she couldn't sleep, couldn't eat and this lovely natured girl became a rude, screaming, disobedient tyrant.

It was crisis time for the whole family and Kate ended up packing her bags, taking off and working for her uncle in a supermarket.

I recall reading interesting research in the New Scientist that indicated that where excess anxiety is applied to school-related work the brain can actually burn-out and be unable to gear up for the final leg of the marathon.

So this is the time for parents to take stock. If you find your anxiety level has gone up a notch or two since school began this year, then don't for a moment think your kids won't feel the added anxiety and tension in the home.

How well the students perform depends a lot on their personality, their peers, their past performances, their pedagogues and their parents.

PERSONALITY - some kids just aren't focused and all the bribing, badgering, belittling or depriving won't change that. If you can, work out what type of management suits their personality then you're well in front. Some students work better in the morning, some later, some work better alone and others in company, some like short blocks and some longer, some work in silence, others with white noise.

PEERS - students tend to try as hard or as little as their peers or mates - their friends are their reference group so their attitudes and application will tend to conform to the group norm. The advantage of a conscientious peer group is that they can form study groups and study cooperatively and make it a bit more fun than confined to quarters.

PAST PERFORMANCES - if they have a history of success or effort then irrespective of your anxiety or theirs, that's probably how they'll handle this year. …

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