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So We Know Students Are Stressed Out … Now Let’s Talk About It

NPR Ed – Jacquie Lee

“Since 2013 teenagers have reported stress levels that exceed those of adults. And traditionally, parents have underestimated what their kids are feeling. This became apparent in 2009 when a Stress in America survey showed that parents had no idea the level of stress their kids were under. But parents are finally starting to notice…So what changed? Experts say that the increase of public attention focused on stress and the health hazards it can cause — suicide, depression and anxiety — may have pushed parents to take their kid’s stress more seriously…But not all stress is bad. In fact, some stress can help increase motivation and focus…So for students who are teetering on the edge of extreme and just-enough stress, how can they find a happy medium?”(more)

1 in 7 Young Kids Affected By Psychological Disorder, Report Says

Education News – Grace Smith

“Researchers reviewed information supplied by parents in the National Survey of Children’s Health for the years 2011-2012 and to analyze the data for reported language and speech problems, learning disabilities, ADHD, anxiety, autism spectrum disorder, and other psychological troubles — and what they found was surprising. It appeared that one in seven US children from 2- to 8-years-old were struggling with a behavioral, mental, or developmental issue, or what is commonly known as psychological disorders, reports Steven Reinberg for CBS News. What was also discovered, however, was that children who had these mental, behavioral, or developmental disorders were less likely to have access to medical care…Problems with child-care and parents with mental health issues were often linked to mental, developmental, and behavioral disorders in young boys and girls. The presence of these maladies was varied among the states, meaning there are certain things states can do to improve kids’ health.”(more)

Sugar may be as damaging to the brain as extreme stress or abuse

The Conversation – Jayanthi Maniam & Margaret Morris

“We all know that cola and lemonade aren’t great for our waistline or our dental health, but our new study on rats has shed light on just how much damage sugary drinks can also do to our brain. The changes we observed to the region of the brain that controls emotional behaviour and cognitive function were more extensive than those caused by extreme early life stress. It is known that adverse experiences early in life, such as extreme stress or abuse, increase the risk of poor mental health and psychiatric disorders later in life…The changes in the brain induced by sugar are of great concern given the high consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, with particularly high consumption in children aged nine to 16 years. If similar processes are at play in humans to what was found in our rat study, reducing the consumption of sugar across the community is important.”(more)

Helicopter Parenting Can Lead to Impulsive, Unkind College Kids, Study Says

Education News – Grace Smith

“Overbearing parents are putting their children at risk for health issues and poor future parent-child relationships, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Vermont. Their report suggests that other detrimental effects occur from parenting that controls and manipulates children, including children being stressed and unkind to their friends…A questionnaire, which was used to establish levels of parental control, showed that the more controlling parenting led to higher levels of aggression, and having parents who were less controlling pointed to children who were less aggressive.”(more)

8 Ways To Help You Kids Let Their Amazing Out

The Huffington Post – Michelle McQuaid

“School can make even the make even the most resilient kid feel stressed from time to time. Whether it’s navigating friendships, learning new skills, pleasing their teachers or making their parents proud, it can be a challenging environment when you’re still figuring a lot of stuff out…The good news is that not all stress is bad for kids…Professor Lea Waters at the Graduate School of Education at Melbourne University suggests that positive stress is a normal part of the developmental process that helps children to develop the essential life skills of coping with and adapting to new situations. And that as parents we can make a positive impact on our kids stress levels and play an important role in cultivating their wellbeing. So how can we help our children positively navigate the everyday stresses that are part of school life? In Australia recently I partnered with back to school specialists, Officeworks, to find 8 ways you can help your kids let their amazing out by:”(more)

A neuroscientist says there’s a powerful benefit to exercise that is rarely discussed

Quartz – Wendy A. Suzuki

“…my favorite neuroscience-based motivation for exercise relates to its effects on the hippocampus—a key brain structure that’s critical for long-term memory…Exercise encourages the long-term growth of hippocampal cells by immediately increasing levels of a key growth factor in the hippocampus…Just consider how the educational system might be altered if we acknowledge exercise’s ability to brighten our mood, decrease stress, and improve our attention span and memory. The growing evidence that exercise improves these key brain functions should encourage schools around the world to increase—not decrease—students’ physical activity. Not only would this help students to better absorb everything from history lessons to chemistry experiments, they’d be a lot happier too…neuroscience gives us a framework to understand exercise as a tool for better education, increased productivity in the workforce and combating cognitive decline.”(more)