School Stress: Problems and Solutions

Dr. Adam Rosens dog, Sizzles, came to BMS and was a hit with the children.

Contributed by Dr. Rosen

Dr. Adam Rosen’s dog, Sizzles, came to BMS and was a hit with the children.

Middle school can be very stressful. Stresses could be about grades, tests, assignments, homework, peer pressure, and expectations, alongside other stresses that may be out of school bounds. Nevertheless, pets can reduce stress bit by bit over time to help overcome the stresses and conflicts that middle schoolers who own pets face.

Because pets don’t talk, pet owners are always trying to understand their pets. Trying to understand what your pet is trying to tell you is empathy or fitting into others ‘shoes’. Having empathy is important. Empathy can teach you to have some perspective; to have a sense of what the other person is trying to say or what the other person’s side of the story is. Having perspective can lead to understanding and accepting others the way they are, which will lead to understanding how things work, and not getting upset as much about things.

Many programs have been trying to teach kids to respect their pets. A program named ‘PAWS’ has been hosting summer programs and camps for kids and teenagers to have a better understanding of what pets and animals do for you and how to feel compassion for them.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, one family said, “Lucas and John learned to ask permission to pet a dog, read its body language, and stroke it gently on the back. They also learned to interact safely and gently with small mammals.”

Furthermore, pets are great company. If you respect animals, it’s reassuring to find a pet when you get home from school or some unexpected places. For instance, if you see a dog at the park or in your neighborhood. Even if animals aren’t really your favorite, it’s okay. Just treating animals with respect is significant.

Animals are very intelligent; especially dogs and cats. They can sense the vibe, feeling, and mood in a place and can react to that in all different sorts of ways. According to the Chicago Tribune, ’Animals have the same range of basic emotions as we do. … Fear, happiness and calmness….. ‘So when a child is able to identify that in himself, then you can start to talk about how that exists in others, too”’

Seeing and understanding how pets can understand you will eventually make an impact on yourself. Understanding pets and animals will really make you a better person; with perspective and empathy. Try harder to see the truth about animals, because, truth is, animals and pets help you get through obstacles and they help you through difficulties when you struggle.

Therefore, thank your pet the next time you see her or him! She or he will appreciate it. Maybe you will too!