PARENTING TIPS : HELPING YOUR CHILD COMBAT EXAM STRESS
“It’s not the load that breaks you down. It’s the way you carry it.”
– C.S. Lewis
Exams can be quite demanding for children. The horror of failure can create unnecessary burden on students, making their life more stressful. Excessive pressure and anxiety can disturb a student’s performance during an exam. Children often look upon their parents for motivation and much of their emotional status depends on parental support. As role models, parents must be able to efficiently deal with stress and help their children combat exam stress.
Parents can support their children by being cooperative during exam preparations. Needless to say, exam time can put the whole household on edge. Gratefully, there are approaches that can be followed in order to help the entire household through the challenging time.
• Don’t add to their stress: As a parent, the first thing that you can do for your child who is under stress is to reduce the burden. Children have relatively less experience in dealing with tense situations and may not be familiar with how to manage or express their burden adequately. Therefore, as a parent, it is important to promote the idea that it is absolutely normal to feel nervous. Teach them to remain collected and focused during stressful situations. Try to have realistic expectations and avoid becoming another source of pressure for your children.
• Encourage Them to Take Regular Breaks: Most parents restrict their children from watching television, or hanging out with friends whenever exams draw near. However, a child’s need for social interaction and recreation should be taken seriously. Having your children mull over textbooks and assessments for long periods of time will hurt their ability to focus, concentrate and retain information. Therefore, encourage them to take regular yet short breaks.
• Help Them to Create a Study Schedule: Work with your children to create a schedule and stick to it. Set time aside for recreation so that your children can unwind, de-stress and recharge. Let your children draw up their own schedule and take an active part in supporting them or providing them with a proper layout. Externally imposed rules and restrictions will create additional pressure. It will be hard for your children to stick to a routine if it does not feel natural or comfortable to them. Give your children the freedom to choose their own hours to revise and study. Limit yourself to observing their decisions closely and correcting them only when necessary.
• Ensure they’re getting enough sleep and proper diet: Make sure to feed your children food rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals to boost their immunity and keep them fit. A balanced diet is obligatory to beat exam stress. Similarly, it’s critical for you to ensure that your child gets an adequate sleep. Getting enough sleep is fundamental to performing well during exams.
• Remain calm: If you stress out, your children will stress out even more. So, it is very important to try your best to hold your stress inside and discuss with your partner or a fellow parent going through the same thing, if need be. Try to be promote a positive, happy and encouraging vibes.
• Encourage your children to exercise and meditate: Exercise is very important for a healthy functioning of the mind and body. Parents must encourage children to meditate and exercise regularly. 30 minutes of exercise early in the morning can keep stress, anxiety, and fatigue at bay and give them abundant of constructive energy to study well throughout the day.
• Teach them the art of accepting failure and moving on: More often than not, students are fearful of failing to meet their parent’s expectations. Teach your children that it is okay to fail sometimes. In fact, some of the best lessons in life are taught by only failing. Students should learn to accept the fiasco and move on.
• Be your child’s friend: Try to build trust, understanding and communicate openly with your child. It’ll not only help them know that they got your back but will also provide them a hassle and stress free environment, thus enabling them to perform better.
Help your children grow a habit of taking studies and exams positively. This can only happen when you do not lay pressure on your children to perform well in exams and score good marks. Focus on how much your children can learn rather than emphasising on few numbers on the sheet of paper. Eventually, as parents you need to remember, exams are not the end of the world. Stay happy, positive, calm and rub it off your children as well.