Did you know St. Benedict offers students advice and strategies to help them deal with stress and anxiety? Today’s children face increasing pressure in a society that demands perfection. Kids deal with the anxiety in sometimes harmful ways. Chief stressors include: learning issues, balancing school and extracurricular activities, pressure to get good grades, time management/”screen time”; home-life issues, peer pressure and overwhelming negative daily news and events.
“Everybody makes mistakes,” says Kristin Enriquez, MS, Special Education and Director of Inclusion at St. Benedict Preparatory School in Chicago. “This year I have sensed an elevated level of anxiety among our students. Both home and school pressures, as well as technology increase stress within students,” she said. “Yet our society demands perfection; an unrealistic expectation, causing a fear to fail. During a school day, many children don’t have healthy coping mechanisms to persevere through their challenges. They need guidance to talk about their feelings and understand the root of the problem, which causes anxious feelings. Once a student can identify the cause, it is easier to come up with a solution or coping mechanism, such as taking a break, taking deep breaths, or coming up with a plan."
St. Benedict strives to create a nurturing learning environment with a focus on the students’ social and emotional characteristics. Besides a supportive staff, initiatives include a Middle School Advisory, Social Emotional Learning in Lower School, and counseling support through United Stand.