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CHOC RECOMMENDS CHILDREN KEEP LOW STRESS LEVELS AND LEARN EFFECTIVE STUDY SKILLS AS BACK TO SCHOOL SEASON ARRIVES
August 08, 2007

With the approach of back to school season, Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) reminds parents that today’s children do more than go to school, make friends and finish a little homework. Following is information that will help parents and their children cope with the increased demands of life and school. Kids and Stress

Childhood sometimes means dealing with adult-sized stress. Depending on a child’s temperament, seemingly mundane concerns related to school and peers may be very stressful. Parents may struggle to set limits because they feel pressure to involve their children in school and community activities.

The following physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms may be signs of stress:

  • Headaches, stomachaches or bedwetting
  • Fears, worries, anxiety or irritability
  • Sleep problems or nightmares
  • Fighting with parents or siblings

What parents can do:

  • Respond to your child’s personality. Every child has a coping style. Some like to talk, others need to get physical, and some just need “down time.”
  • Spend quality time and listen. Take time for one-on-one sharing with your child to find out what is really going on from your child’s perspective.
  • Create structure and order. Regular mealtime and bedtime routines help children pace themselves and make them feel secure.

How to help the child develop effective coping skills:

  • Walk the dog
  • Read a book
  • Watch a funny movie
  • Listen to music
  • Keep a journal
  • Do something relaxing, like build a puzzle
  • Be encouraging. Remind children about all the things they do well.

Managing a child’s homework time

  • Set aside a quiet, orderly place for homework.
  • Let your children unwind from school and have a snack before starting homework.
  • Establish and enforce a certain time every day for homework.
  • Turn off the television and video games to minimize outside distractions.
  • Supervise your child while doing homework. Be there if your child needs help.
  • Devise and post homework rules. This may include no television or eating while doing homework.
  • Include homework in your child’s daily chore list.
  • If your child does not finish homework within a reasonable time because of dawdling, consider consequences, such as the loss of screen time.
  • Reward your child for completing homework on time with verbal praise. If your child has done an especially fine job, consider a tangible award, such as a sticker on a sticker chart or an allowance.

About CHOC Children's: Named one of the best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report (2014-2015) and a 2013 Leapfrog Top Hospital, CHOC Children's is exclusively committed to the health and well-being of children through clinical expertise, advocacy, outreach and research that brings advanced treatment to pediatric patients. Affiliated with the University of California, Irvine, CHOC’s regional health care network includes two state-of-the-art hospitals in Orange and Mission Viejo, several primary and specialty care clinics, a pediatric residency program, and four centers of excellence - The CHOC Children’s Heart, Neuroscience, Orthopaedic and Hyundai Cancer Institutes.

CHOC earned the Gold Level CAPE Award from the California Council of Excellence, the only children’s hospital in California to ever earn this distinction, and was awarded Magnet designation, the highest honor bestowed to hospitals for nursing excellence.  Recognized for extraordinary commitment to high-quality critical care standards, CHOC’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is the first in the United States to earn the Pediatric Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence.

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Media Contact:
Monica Garcia, Sr. Public Relations Specialist
phone: (714) 289-4183
email: pr@chocchildrens.org

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Children's Hospital of Orange County is affiliated with UC Irvine Healthcare and UC Irvine School of Medicine

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