A local school teacher recently told me that the assumption in the teaching program they use is that children are intrinsically joyful, peaceful, and compassionate. And, if they are not, there is typically an underlying cause. 

In our post, Back to School or Back to Stress, we provided information on the signs of stress in schoolchildren, in addition to some ideas for reducing some of the chaos that can cause stress at home in the early days of the school year.  In What is Yoga 4 Classrooms?, we introduced our classroom program and the idea that providing opportunities for children to draw their awareness inward, back from the ever-increasing distractions of the external world, can provide them with many benefits, not the least of which is a more centered and calm state of being.  For this same purpose, we also posted about The Power of Visual Imagery for Children.

Our friend, Amy Bevan, contributing writer for The Kids Yoga Resource (see previous post) and founder of The Prana Mama, just turned us on to another great blog focused on tools for calm and happy families: Zen Family Habits.  One recent post, Help Your Kids Beat These 5 Sources of School Stress, focuses on strategies for addressing  many of the environmental sources of stress.  Later comments by the author include excellent strategies for test-taking.  Other posts on the blog are extremely insightful and helpful as well - I am now an official follower of this great site.

Recognizing the signs of stress is the first step to helping your child.  Consider looking beyond defiant behavior, oversleeping, and recurrent stomaches to stress as the possible underlying cause.  Take a look at the articles and posts referenced above for a great start in giving your child the tools to be successful, self-aware and stress-free, in and out of the classroom.