Connecticut Families Extra: High achieving schools, high stress students

Connecticut Families

(WTNH) — For some students whose school districts that serve affluent white collar families, the educational opportunities are endless. Add a part-time job, sports and community service to a heavy course load, and bedtime never happens before midnight.

“If I have a test the next day or I’m not super confident on material, I could be up until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning,” one student said.

Nina Kumar is CEO of Authentic Connections, a group that studies the disconnect at high achieving schools. Districts where students have high standardized test scores and admissions to some of the top universities.

“Students of these schools often suffer from rates of depression, anxiety, substance use, rule breaking, things like cheating, stealing, at rates higher than other students do nationally, ” said Kumar.

Kumar said at some schools, the rates of anxiety are 6 times higher than the national average.

She said, “When you have debilitating anxiety, when you have a kid who doesn’t want to go to school, it’s too much.”

Parents want their children to compete at high levels to succeed. So, what can parents do? Kumar says parents can:

  • Keep a balanced view of accomplishments
  • Avoid focusing on external goals
  • Talk about benefits; ask questions like:
    • Is it fun?
    • Does it bring your child joy?
    • Does it connect your child with others?

For students’ additional support to help them cope, while they navigate the high school years.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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