Deepa Narasimhan, college professor and mom of a wonderful School Without Suffering student talks with Laura about the challenges of having a child with school-related anxiety and the transformation that comes with true change in a child’s mindset about school.
- Learn more about the School Without Suffering planner
- Leave a review!
It is our final episode of this private podcast season! You have made it through and are now very well-equipped to set your child up for the best possible start to the school year.
You are now ready to introduce yourself to your child’s teachers in a way that opens up a clear line of communication that can quickly and easily be used anytime during the school year.
And if you took a look at the email templates that accompany that episode, you’ll know that your kiddos are ready to introduce themselves to their teachers to have their own open lines of communication.
You also have questions to ask your Child After School Every Day after school to build your connection and keep the lines of communication about school open between the two of you.
You’ve got 3 Stress Management Techniques that you can use with your child to have both them and you breathing easier through homework and study time.
And you know how to help your kiddos manage their time and energy to help prevent that build up of unhealthy stress in the first place.
Your kiddo is going to get a fresh start this school year—a chance for things to go differently
And so for our final episode, I want to reflect on the question “What would it mean for your child to think and feel differently about school?”
I founded School Without Suffering because over my time as a teacher and a tutor, I learned that behaviors that we often see from kids like:
refusing to read, write, or do math
spending all night doing homework
spending all night on their phone
yelling, snapping, crying
becoming a class clown or even a class bully
So often those behaviors stem from anxiety about school.
And I saw that typical responses to these behaviors both at school and at home tend to be taking away privileges, implementing stricter less-fun schedules, or hiring tutors.
And while these may temporarily alleviate some of these symptoms, they don't lead to meaningful or lasting change.
These types of interventions do not lead to students thinking and feeling differently about school.
So what does?
To help explain the answer, I have a guest on today’s episode! After the break, I have a conversation with Deepa Narasimhan, college professor and mom of a wonderful School Without Suffering student. We talk about the challenges of having a child with school-related anxiety and transformation that comes with true change in a child’s mindset about school.
* * *
Want to help your teen or tween get a handle on their stress (and stop adding to yours)?
Procrastination, Staying up way too late doing homework last-minute, Falling grades due to missed assignments, School-related meltdowns…These behaviors DO NOT have to be a part of your life this school year:
The School Without Suffering Time & Energy Management Planner provides a structured way for students to
Keep track of and prioritize their tasks, understand how much time and energy each task *actually* takes and plan accordingly, adjust their plans without falling apart when something unexpected comes up, and reflect on how things have gone each week to improve the next.
AND, with the Time & Energy Management mini-course included with the planner, they’ll build the habit of using their time management system every. single. week.
Visit schoolwithoutsuffering.com/planner and use discount code PODCAST at check out for $10 off your purchase.
* * *
So thank you for having me here. My name is Deepa Narasimhan, and my daughter had come to you for months, I think, for academic coaching. And that's why we're here we're talking about her experiences, in my experience as a parent with you.
Awesome. Okay, so let's go all the way back to when we first got in contact. So before even I worked with your daughter for those months, and even maybe before you found me, and found school that suffering, so when you were looking for support, what did you want to achieve? Or even think about it as what problem were you facing?
So I would say like my, the biggest issues we were having was the executive functioning for for my daughter staying on track, wanting to do her homework. And also, I guess there's many problems that pulling me out as the person who was nagging her. So I wanted to pull myself out of that situation, because I wasn't able to give her those self regulation techniques, I suppose to go ahead and do her work. So that's what I was looking for someone to sort of fill a role like that. And I didn't even know if something like that existed. It was sort of a hope.
Yeah. And when you were hoping for that, and thinking about it, and really wanting to find it, what were you thinking it would mean for you? And what do you what were using either would mean for your daughter, if you were able to find that kind of support?
A lot of relief for all involved? I thought it would be if if we were at the time, when you know, we're just struggling. It was just finding this relief for her where it was a safe place. for her to be able to not only complete her assignments and live up to her potential because she's brilliant. But do it in a place where she felt encouraged and wanted to actually do her work and not, you know, fight it.
Yeah. Yeah. Okay, so we found each other, you found me, we talked on the phone, we got her started. And yeah, we worked together for months for several months. So as you as I was working with your daughter, what did you notice what kind of two to three specific things that I was doing with her that she was doing, that she learned from our sessions? What two to three specific things did you notice had the biggest impact on her.
So the first was the tapping that you actually taught her, because that was an immediate, calming exercise for her. And it was exactly what I was looking for, even though I didn't have the words for it. But I wanted some sort of self regulation. For her some techniques to that she would be open to learning that she wasn't open to learning from me. So that was the the first thing that I noticed that she was calmer. And then the second thing that I noticed was the way she spoke to herself, you had taught her in the very first session on how to look at things like not to look at what you haven't done, but what you have done into really sort of reprogram that inner voice. So it wasn't just this critical voice going through. So that was shocking, actually, after the first session that she did those two things. Yeah, I don't know if I've ever told you that. But that was watching her do that. And then she taught me to do it. Yeah. And she would remind me, like, you know, Mom, you know what, why don't you look at it this way. And then the third thing, and this is by the second or third session was how she broke down her tasks on how to do things in a planner. And that was really nice, because it wasn't the traditional way of breaking things down. It was something that really resonated with her. I have not been able to find that with anyone else.
Oh, thank you so much for sharing that I yeah, that's awesome. And that's exactly why I take the approach that I take where it's not just Yes, I can I can teach and I do teach all of my students that point technique. And it is unique. Nobody else has that exactly how I do it. But everyone, every academic coach is going to have, you know, a way to plan your time. But it's that piece foundationally that you were talking about with the EFT tapping, and like self talk that without that piece, the time management plan is going to be more superficial, more of like a bandaid, on top of the problem, instead of really going in and fixing the root problem. And when you go in and fix the root problem, or at least offer solutions for the root problem, then the time management system is 1000 times more effective.
Because that's, that's exactly it, like you work from the inside out. As opposed to and you also did not dictate terms. And I think that that's something that's really important to understand across the board. Like, I know that there's a lot of academic coaches I looked into once I figured out that there was this world, because I think a lot of parents don't even know that this world exists, then when you go into it, you do see a lot of well, if you follow my technique exactly, then that's you know, and I think that puts a lot of pressure on parents. Yeah. And then the parents put the pressure on their kids, whereas you went in and you individualize it for students. And I think that that is the key, that that's why you are so effective. Because you work internally. And you're right, it's that foundation, if you don't have that, and there's no planning in the world, that's gonna work. And then the second piece of it was that you don't just say you have to do my planning the way exactly you you allow the tweaks, and you celebrate it. So sorry, I didn't mean to overtake.
I so appreciate hearing all of this, this is like, a huge reason. It's so good to be doing these, these interviews and these conversations. Okay, so my next question for you is, what were the results of all of that? What did you see at home? How did it impact your daughter, and how did it impact just your household.
So the first was, I did notice that she would call she would be much calmer when she was starting her homework. And when she was like doing assignments, and she had a better sense of what to expect, because you were helping keep her on keeping to help keep her on track, sorry, can speak, you were helping to keep her on track. That you weren't nagging her, and there was no shame. So she in turn, was able to keep on track and feel good about herself. So you kind of you just sort of slipped into a part of her cycle, and you just spun it around. So she wasn't always doing me I'm going to I'm going to set myself up for failure, you actually turn that wheel around.
That makes a Yeah, and that shame pieces is such a huge, huge part of it.
It's huge. And as a parent, like I'm guilty of doing that, you know, with her, and even though I know it's a it's a horrible way to raise your kid, but you're able to do that. And I think that that's that's key. So I did notice that she was more on top of her school, having me out of it was was also very, very helpful. Having you and her manage it together was incredibly helpful. And I don't know if if we mentioned that we had first done the individual sessions. And then we moved to group. And I think that that was actually really helpful. I think you can jump into group and it would be just fine. But for us, I really loved that she was able to build that relationship with you.
Yeah, yes. And that's exactly why that option exists. Some kids need for whatever, wherever they're at in their journey. Just need that one on one time to build a relationship to get into their own new flow before doing it kind of in front of other people. But then when they're able to take it and do it in front of other people or in a group then they see for themselves like oh, I can do this. I can do this in class, I can do this with other kids, I can do this, you know, in whatever environment I happen to be in. So good. I'm really glad to hear that too.
Once you did teach your planning technique to my husband and so because the physician says she's like, Dad, you got it all wrong. Let me just show you where you're going all wrong with your executive functioning. This is how you need to plan oh my god and my husband afterwards. Okay, she's got a point. I don't think I've ever shared this. Yeah, so this is all the stuff that was happening. So it was, it was really good. She really she got a lot out of her time with you.
Oh, that's so that's so awesome. Thank you. Thank you so much. Okay, so now I'm going to ask back to before she started again, when you were when you were making the decision of whether or not you were going to enroll her in school that suffering? Can you finish the sentence I almost didn't join because
Oh, I almost didn't join. That's hard. I can say before I talk to you, because once I talk to you, it was like, Okay, this is where we, where we need to be. So I should probably just preface that story with, we had spent a lot of money in a lot of places, and we were really down to, like, we just couldn't spend any more. So like whatever we were gonna spend it on it had. It had to work, which was I know, ridiculous pressure. So I almost didn't join because I was afraid it was going to be like other programs. Yeah. Yeah. And I'm so glad I talked to you. Because once I talked to you and with your, your own education, but your own educational background, it was like, Okay, this is it slam dunk, then I did awesome.
Awesome. And it was, it was so good to work with her. Okay, so next sentence that I want to ask you to finish is my favorite part of my daughter working with your program is or was
Oh, my favorite part of my daughter working with your program was watching her confidence grow.
That's my favorite part two. Okay, last question for you. Who would you recommend school that suffering to and why?
So I, I would actually recommend it to all middle schoolers and high schoolers, even if they're doing well, because I think that kids, even adults, but kids especially hit that wall of anxiety at some point. And if they have those techniques that you teach them early on, like, from the foundation to the planning, I think that's going to help them succeed you you set them up on a road to success. So if parents could start earlier i would i would recommend that so to all kids, but especially kids who have a hard time with executive functioning.
Yeah, that's awesome. All right, and that those are all my questions for you for today. So is there anything else you want to add before we wrap up,
Um, run don't walk up but I but honestly it's it's it's it really does come from the heart like you really did help my daughter quite a bit. So I cannot recommend her services enough. It is very different from the other programs that I ended up researching. So thank you. Thank you so much.
If you’d like to learn more about what School Without Suffering can do for your child, visit us at schoolwithoutsuffering.com and click Get In Touch for your free Student Success Roadmapping Session.
I’m so excited for the fresh start you and your child are going to get this year.
Best of luck and please keep in touch! I’m rooting for you!