Stress At Home

Over the quarantine, many kids have felt a decline in their grades and conflicts with their parents has seem to be the biggest problem.

Camilla S. & Kaitlyn M.

Over the quarantine, many kids have felt a decline in their grades and conflicts with their parents has seem to be the biggest problem.

Ariana A. and Elaria B.

You walk downstairs before school, fully aware of your parents’ presence as they yell at each other in the kitchen while your siblings bicker in the living room. You work to block out the chaos in hopes of a few final minutes of studying before that first-period science test. While you are trudging to school, you are already feeling the heaviness at the start of a predictably rough day. Once the test begins, you stare blankly at the paper, right on the verge of tears. If only your family could work out their problems with a little more empathy and kindness. If only. 

For some students, this type of pressure mirrors the intensity in their households. It is not uncommon for students to walk on eggshells at home, worrying about how their behavior will affect their parents. This can lead to significant anxiety and make it challenging to focus on schoolwork. 

“My parents were yelling in the household, and it really affected the way I was performing in school because I felt so stressed thinking about my parents yelling. I wasn’t able to focus on doing any homework, classwork, or tests,” said seventh grade student, Kelly C. 

Some students fear expressing themselves in school, fearful of the consequences from parents if they were to open up to teachers. However, if teachers are unaware of a student’s struggles at home, they are unable to help. 

“I am around to help them and they’re around to ask me questions. But as soon as they’re out the door, I don’t know what they’re going into or what they are going to be able to accomplish or how long it’s going to take,” said seventh grade teacher, Mr. Evans. 

Nearly 30% of students say that their mental health has declined since school closed as a result of Covid, and the number of teen suicide attempts has increased at an alarming rate these past three years. A growing number of students feel imprisoned by stress. This pressure can lead to students wading through some pretty dangerous choices. 

“I actually did harm myself one time. It was out of stress from the amount of conflict that was happening in my household. I felt that if I did that, I would feel a little bit better,” said a student who asked to remain anonymous.

Many students are suffering from depression or stress with no one to help them. Not many students have a trusted adult to talk to, which could further risk self-harm.

“With all of the stress going on in today’s world, plus the normal stresses that naturally occur in the teenage years and in middle school and in high school, [I am] often confronted with helping students that are experiencing certain levels of stress which may also be part of self harm and depressive thoughts,” said Day Creek counselor, Ms. Gaines. 

Whatever happens at homes can also affect how well students perform in school. Parents may be unaware that discontent at home may be affecting success on campus. 

“Our environment has a lot to do with our mood and our motivation. So when a student comes to school, if their homelife is not calm, not encouraging or motivating, or safe, that can definitely have an affect on their grades, their participation, their social interactions with friends, and even their attendance,” said Ms. Gaines.