A new study says that the biggest cause of stress for children is too much homework. It topped bullying, parental expectations and self-esteem.
The study by the Better Sleep Council said that 74 percent of teens are stressed out from the demands of homework. The study also found that homework takes up about 15 hours a week for most teens.
“That’s probably the number one thing that kids talk about is the stress and anxiety that comes with too much homework," said Dr. Valerie Rock, a licensed clinical psychologist in La Jolla. "There is a lot of competition and the competitive nature of the schools. There’s pressure with the state testing and being prepared.”
Part of the stress comes from the lack of sleep that too much homework can bring, according to the Better Sleep Council. 57 percent of teenagers said they don't get enough sleep and 67 percent said they get about five to seven hours a night, under the recommended average.
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Rock added just this week she had a teen patient that was up until 3 in the morning trying to complete homework.
"It's usually with students that are in high school but we're seeing stress with kids as young as second grade," said Rock. "Kids need to have time for extracurricular activities and unstructured downtime when they can be creative."
Rock said that parents can help their teens through structured time management.
"Do time-blocking at home," said Rock. "Know extracurriculars are until this time, when you get home, we have dinner and structure time at home."