Many children in the second and third grades already suffer from stress symptoms
Even children in the second and third grade show symptoms of stress. A survey study showed that even the second and third graders want more time for a sufficient recovery from school stress. Pressure to perform, school lessons and homework are very difficult for the little ones, as the latest survey showed. The German Child Protection Association warns against overwhelming children.
Learning, homework and tutoring in the afternoon: This is what everyday life for many children in Germany looks like. Adequate time to rest and balance is denied to many children. Even children in the second and third primary grades know stress at school and in the afternoon. This is evidenced by a recent study by the German Child Protection Association (DKSB), which was presented in Berlin today. For the representative survey, around 5000 were surveyed across Germany in ages seven to nine.
After evaluating the questionnaires, it became clear that the most cited stress factor for children of this age is school. Attending school ranks before the argument or anger within the family. About 25 percent of all schoolchildren said they even "feel stressed very often". It was striking that "children in the third grade perceive the pressure to succeed as stress twice as often as the second graders", reports the child protection association spokesman Friedhelm Güthoff.
Pronounced awareness of health and relaxation
The survey also showed that the seven- to nine-year-olds have a pronounced awareness of health and know many ways to relax adequately. The majority of children also said that they were generally happy: "Nine out of ten children are usually happy."
Almost 100 percent of the children said that health was important to them and about 90 percent said that “it is fairly or very important to eat healthy”. Four out of five children surveyed stated that they eat fruit and vegetables often or very often. Only 28 percent of young participants said they eat sweets often or very often.
The little ones drink water and tea without sugar particularly often (62 percent) and only 22 percent stated that they drink effervescent often or very often. "At this age, everything is available that is necessary for the formation of a healthy lifestyle. Now we adults are challenged to maintain and strengthen these impulses," emphasized the pediatrician Dr. Dietrich Grönemeyer. Nutritional science has long known from studies that eating behavior can have a negative impact on the future. Parents, teachers and even doctors have to stay tuned much more here, the doctor demands.
There should be little stress at home
It makes sense for parents to have little stress in their own four walls. It is important that getting up is not associated with hectic pace. So children can start the day without hurry and stress. "Family life has become more hectic. The parents are often out of the house in front of the children in the mornings," says Stefan Drewes from the Professional Association of German Psychologists (BDP).
"Sufficient time for breakfast together should become a fixed ritual," emphasizes social worker Gritli Bertram. This also includes waking the child in time so that there is enough time to have breakfast together. "Then the children can start the day with a good feeling and strengthened." If parents notice that their child is experiencing a lot of stress at school, they should research the reasons. Are conflicts with classmates responsible for this? Does the son or daughter worry about certain lessons? Even before class work, many students feel under enormous pressure. Regular contact with teachers can counter many problems. "However, a consultation should not take place shortly before class work," advises the social worker. "That should happen with a little lead time and not just a day before work," said Drewes, who is the chair of the school psychology section at the BDP.
Exercise and boredom are important
A lot of movement can compensate. Because the children have to be attentive all day long to learn and sit still. Performance pressure should not be the focus here. "So don't make sure that my child is the best at the football club," says Drewes. Playful hobbies are better. In order for the child to find a haven of peace, there must be times when not much happens. "Children can also be bored once in a while, they come to rest and can develop new ideas." The survey study was undertaken by the Prosoz Institute for Social Research and financed by the company Elefanten-Schuhe. (Sb)
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