How do I do well in school

Michaela Huber works as a school psychologist at the Oskar-von-Miller-Gymnasium in Munich. As a specialist seminar teacher, she is also responsible for the training of trainee lawyers. Ms. Huber, what causes school children the most stress?

Michaela Huber: Unfortunately, it's often and unconsciously the parents. Many have too little distance from school, have fears themselves and are therefore unable to give their children a sensible and stress-free relationship to learning. Many of these parents believe that the only way to achieve something in life is to go to high school and graduate from high school. And not just any high school diploma, it has to be a very good one.

Does the parent stress factor affect all children equally?

No, it is particularly bad for the sensitive and more adjusted children, those who want to please everyone. They feel their parents' fear and this gives them the impulse to have to do everything perfectly. When such stressful parents come to my office hours without wanting to, I like to say: "Go to the pharmacy, buy a large bottle of 'Cheerful Calmness' and take 20 drops three times a day." Only if the parents have confidence in the years of child-rearing work they have done can their schoolchild develop well and in a relaxed manner.

Parents should just let their children do it?

It depends: Parents have to look at their children objectively: Doesn't the child feel like trying to avoid any exertion or is supposedly not in the mood because they are stressed and overwhelmed. In the second case, parents have to organize a counterweight to the school so that there are safe rooms that the children need to switch off. You shouldn't spend hours studying math with your children on Sunday, but get on your bike and go on a nice bike ride together. After that, you might be able to help the children learn again.

So the parents should set other priorities.

Many parents have little time for their children due to work. But when it comes to school, they suddenly take their time. Dad comes home early from the office because the daughter is taking a math exam the next day. That is a fatal signal for the children! The school experiences an unnecessarily excessive increase and that rightly causes the children stomach pain in the long term.

How can you stop the focus on school?

Very simple: Parents should signal to their children that there are other important issues besides school; that emptying the dishwasher is also important or the mentioned bike tour. The more relevant topics there are in a child's life, the more relative school becomes. That means: Parents should take emptying the dishwasher as important and demand it as they do studying.