Anne Bacus is a psychologist and psychotherapist, a specialist in childhood. She is the author of Your child from 3 to 6 and My child has confidence (Marabout).
What activities can help a child relieve school pressure?
First of all, if a child is stressed by school, you have to understand why and take care of it. The school can indeed generate fatigue and anxiety that the child will compensate elsewhere. If there is too much pressure on the school results, choose an activity where there is no, or very little, competition such as drawing or painting. If the stress comes from too much work, then it is better to opt for a fun and unconstrained activity that will allow the child to change the ideas without rules to respect. If the child is distressed by poor performance in school, parents must find a discipline where they will be good quickly. Investing in the long term, he will regain confidence in him. Finally, if the child feels at odds in class, it must help him to make new friends by avoiding individual sports and by privileging the activities in small groups.
How to choose the activity?
Of course, we must take into account the child's tastes and not want in his place. At best, parents can encourage it, but certainly not force it. Then there are two possibilities. Either we direct him to an activity where he will be good and that will please him right away. Either he is encouraged to go to a discipline where he will encounter difficulties, but that will allow him to progress. When a girl is clumsy, we can advise her in ballet or GRS. When a child is shy, we think of the theater. These are relevant choices, but it is essential to support the child and insist on his progress.
Writing or improvisation workshops for teens are developing a lot, how can they be beneficial?
They will allow young people to bring out what they have in them and assimilate it. By putting their anxieties on the stage by drawing or putting them into words, they will digest them and turn them into something creative. The imaginary takes over the imposed thought. It's exactly like when a little girl is stressed by her mistress who shouts a lot in class. At home, she will play the mistress with her dolls and reproduce what she experienced at school to digest it.