About 20-40% of students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) struggle with reading, writing and focusing in general. Children with specific learning problems have a disproportionately greater rate of mental health issues than their peers of the same age who do not have cognitive disabilities. Anxiety symptoms are also higher in 70% of students with learning problems than in students without learning disabilities, with anxiety and reading disorders co-occurring in about 1 in 4 children. More so, recent events like the COVID-19 pandemic have demonstrated even closely how academic performance and mental health are linked in a variety of ways. Now just as the title suggests, it is widely evident and highly important for the child to be mentally healthy, with or without mental disorders, to be able to perform well academically, especially with their PSLE and O levels coming near!
Now, you may be wondering why a child may be expressing these signs and struggling to study? These links are most likely the result of a mix of genetic, cognitive, and environmental factors. Anxiety and depression are examples of mental health issues that detract from learning and interfere with the cognitive processes involved in learning. Mental health illnesses, on the other hand, might also result from continuous feelings of failure and low self-esteem as a result of scholastic challenges. Young students and teenagers usually undergo a lot of pressure from surrounding competitive peers in a class and deadlines, which can be one of the reasons for such anxiety. Hence, this ends up affecting their grades and academic performances in school.
How do you address these mental health issues to ensure your child is still on track with their preparation for O levels? First of all, acceptance is important! Accepting that your child may be struggling with mental health issues is a way of extending your hands of support towards them. It is okay to have mental health issues and having a conversation about it, should also be normalised. If your help is not sufficient, you can always contact medical professionals as and when required. Apart from that, a healthy lifestyle goes a long way! Making a habit of eating healthy food, scheduling study hours, exercising, sports and interactive activities also show signs of improvement on students that may suffer from depression and anxiety.
If your child is healthy, they will be normally able to focus and study better, thus resulting in improved efforts towards their PSLE and O level results. Hence, having good mental health is as important for performing well academically, as is physical health! And being a parent, you play a huge role and recognising and addressing your children’s mental health issues rather than ignoring or frowning upon them.
Le Xue Education is one such Chinese educational centre in Singapore where the philosophy of “Joyful Learning While Mastering the Intricacies of the Chinese Language” is closely followed. It broadens the horizon of the approach to teaching the Chinese Language, utilizing a variety of methods which has been proven to aid in the improvements of her students’ listening, speaking, reading and writing all while keeping a child’s mental and physical health in mind!
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