I want to caveat this post by noting that everyone is different and the ways in which we cope with stress and anxiety vary greatly. For me, organizing and exercise have been too great tools to overcome stress, but those may not be the tools for you or your student. What is universally applicable, however, is that you will not know what tools work for you until you test some out. Whether it be organizing, meditating, socializing, or resting take the time to try out different stress reducing tactics.
Middle school can be a difficult time for many students, and I was no exception. By an unfortunate twist of fate all three of my closest friends moved from my hometown the year I entered 6th grade, I was overweight, and just hearing the words middle school sent me into a state of panic. A lot of kids seemed to make the adjustment more seamlessly because they had older siblings who guided them through the halls of 6th grade, or teammates who greeted them in the cafeteria, but I had neither of these, which heightened by anxiety and left me feeling out of control.
While social skills were not my strong point at this phase of life, I was thankfully an extremely organized child, and that skill was my saving grace. Having my agenda, my labelled binders, and my organized notes gave me a sense of control in a situation that felt inherently uncontrollable. More importantly, being organized opened free time so I could find my passion outside of the classroom. Near the end of middle school, I found my way to a Pilates class and fell in love. The workouts gave me confidence and I expanded my circle of friends, which ultimately enabled me to grow into a well-adjusted middle and high school student.
For some kid’s social gatherings may reduce their anxiety, for others it may be reading a book or taking a nap. For me it was feeling organized and in control of my schedule. While I do not want to overstate its importance, I think my journey would have been very different if I had not been able to take control of my anxiety through organization. The social, physical, and mental pressures a child goes through in their early teens are extreme enough – the added pressure of feeling academically overwhelmed is unnecessary. If you’re trying to gain control of your child’s time management, VIINKO can help.