While there are a few of us that look back on our time in school with fondness, there are still more that look back and cringe at the challenges we faced while there. While there are a few challenges that students face in school that are, shall we say, timeless for lack of a better word, the rapid improvement of technology within the 21st century has bought new challenges for our children to face.
What we have done is compiled a list of some of the most common challenges students face while in school and what to do about them.
Issues With Body Image
Changing from a child to an adult is a tricky time for anyone to go through. While many parents today may remember being bombarded with doctored images of supermodels on the magazine racks, the frequency our daughters are faced with these unrealistic bodies is ten-fold.
As a result, many of them are looking at someone they no longer recognize in the mirror. Especially when they see some of the other girls in school looking closer like the ones they see not only on the magazine covers, but on social media, television, and movies, making this a particularly extreme challenge students will face white in school.
If your daughter is having issues with body image, help her see how beautiful she really is. Figure out what helps her feel pretty, and occasionally play fairy godmother to her Cinderella.
If you feel there are deeper underlying issues that are affecting her body image issues, it might be best to seek out professional help through a licensed therapist.
Growing up, there is typically an unspoken need to be accepted by certain people. Since humans are social creatures, we tend to drift toward the groups that will accept us. The challenge that students face is choosing the right friends.
There is a balance to how we as parents can influence which people our daughters choose as their friends. The balance to our home life, the pressures we may inadvertently place on them, and how much we are involved in their life can affect what friends they may have and how they influence them.
Bullying is one of those challenges that students face in school that seems to have always been an issue. The stats are just as sobering today as it may have been when we went to school. And now bullying not only happens in person but online as well.
What To Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied
The effects of bullying on anyone can be devastating. A lack of self-worth, developing depression, and other mental health issues are just a few of the effects.
If your daughter is the victim of bullying at school, seek out help from teachers, administrators, and other school personnel to not only be on the lookout for it but to put a stop to it. As the other adults in her life become aware of the issue and, hopefully, circle the wagons, you can work with your daughter with either coping techniques or defense, if necessary.
As an important note, if you determine that it is best to teach your daughter to defend herself, make sure that she understands that those skills and tactics are not to be used to become a bully herself.
What To Do If Your Child Is The Bully
No parents want to think of their child as a bully. However, if there have been constant reports of your daughter taunting, teasing, or even outright hurting other people, it might be best to recognize that she is a bully and might have a problem. At this point, it’s important to take it as seriously as possible.
When you find out that your daughter has been bullying someone, it’s best to fix the problem as soon as possible. Sit her down and let them know that you still love them, but that the way they have been treating others is not okay.
It might also help to speak with her teachers, either with or without her, to get their perspective on the matter. No matter what is said, listen as non-judgmentally as possible.
Work with your daughter to improve how she communicates with others, how to improve her self-esteem without tearing anybody down, and how to change any negative thoughts she might have about herself or other people.
When it comes to challenges students may face, ADHD has stereotypically been seen as something that affects boys more than girls. While it may be true to some extent that it manifests more clearly in boys, recent research has shown that it can appear with just as much frequency in girls, although it shows itself in different ways.
While girls are not quite as “hyperactive” as boys, girls with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder tends to make girls seem more flighty than their peers. The reality is that her brain is processing information differently.
These problems seem to show up as girls move from elementary to middle school, or even from middle school to high school. The responsibilities and pressure to multi-task and succeed increases to the point where they get overwhelmed and may find themselves drowning in it all. As a result, self-confidence decreases, they aren’t able to fit in as well as they used to, and may end up the target of bullying.
If this is something that you have seen happen in your own daughter, it would help to get her a diagnosis as soon as possible. If she does have ADHD, the doctor can give techniques on how to effectively handle the different responsibilities that come her way. If it turns out to be severe, sometimes medication is needed. This is something that only your daughter’s doctor can determine.
Reactive Attachment Disorder
When it comes to challenges students face, reactive attachment disorder, or RAD, isn’t something that would typically be on someone’s list. While this is a bit of a rarer challenge, it is still something that needs to be addressed, especially if your daughter is really your step-daughter, foster daughter, or adopted daughter.
If RAD goes undiagnosed, it can cause challenges not just for your daughter, but for those she interacts with as well.
While this doesn’t affect many people, those with RAD tend to have had some kind of trauma that occurred in their past that wasn’t resolved fully. This can be seen as constant emotional withdrawal, little to no positive interactions with others, unexplained irritability, sadness, or fear when it comes to interacting with guardians or caregivers, along with a host of other symptoms.
As always, if you suspect that your daughter may have RAD, seek out a licensed professional to get an official diagnosis.
While treatment for RAD varies individually, what you as a parent can do is make sure your daughter has a safe and stable environment so she can develop positive interactions with you as her parents and other caregivers like doctors.
The Boarding School For Your Daughter
Sometimes, these challenges students face in school can escalate to the point where further help is needed.
At Life Quest Girls Academy, our knowledgeable and trained staff can help your daughter with whatever academic challenges she faces, while at the same time improving her academic performance as she prepares for a productive life beyond high school.
For more information on how Life Quest can help your daughter, contact us today for a consultation!