It’s examination time. A time of stress and anxiety for both parents and kids. Parents tend to get anxious about how kids will perform academically and that in turn tends to affect the child as well. A survey among parents with kids writing exams suggest that 25% of parents experience mental stress due to their kids impending exams and 25% lose their sleep over it as well.
Do you find yourself stressing out more than you kid during their exams? While it natural to share your kid’s anxieties during the exam season, you need to help your manage their stress levels. Here are some tips you can follow to help reduce your anxiety and help your kid ace their exams.
- Begin early – Examination dates are set well in advance by schools. The key to acing exams is to prepare early. Children tend to think that they have not studied well if they have not studied the entire portion. This leads to stress. Ensure that your child covers the entire syllabus or portion at least one.
- Create a revision study timetable – sit with your child and help them plan their revision timetable. Together create a timetable and pin it someplace from where your child can see it easily. Factor in adequate short breaks in the time table. It is difficult for kids to concentrate for longer periods of time, so give them a break once in a while. Also, ensure that they stick to the schedule and revise their lessons accordingly.
- Set realistic goals – do not make your child study the entire syllabus the night before the exam. Instead, work on a plan to cover all the major portions of the syllabus. You can try solving past papers / questions and revising key points per subject the day before the exam.
- Encourage and motive your child – Kids will stress out during exams. So make sure to praise their efforts. Encourage them instead of threatening them. If you sense that your child is stressed, be there for them. Offer emotional support. Listen to them, reassure them by hugging or kissing. Once they have calmed down, talk to them and let them know that this is not the end of the world. Encourage and motivate them to do their best.
- Create revision question paper – you can create a set of questions per subject that they have to solve in a day. This will give you a good idea of which subjects your child is lagging behind. You can then plan some extra time around these subjects during their revision hour.
- Identify your child’s learning style – children tend to learn differently. Some love to read aloud, while some like to move around while learning. Some like to write while some like to listen or draw. Use tone, gestures, images, actions to teach your child based on their style. For example, if your child is a visual learner, use images and picture to learn. If he or she likes to move around a lot, use actions and gestures to teach.
- Ask them to teach – Teaching is the best form of learning. Role play. Tell them they are a teacher and ask them to teach you a lesson. This will help them understand and revise what they have learned.
- Create a comfortable learning space – give them a nice, quiet place to sit and study, free of any distractions. Ensure that the place has enough light and air. Provide them with enough stationery, a good chair and materials needed for learning.
- Get them to sleep well – a good sleep helps the body rest both mentally and physically. Research has consistently shown that a good sleep before exam gets your better marks than studying late into the night. Sleep deprived children get less marks because their memory and concentration is affected by lack of sleep. So ensure that your kid gets at least 8 hours of sleep before their exams.
- Give them nutritious food and keep them hydrated – Provide them with home cooked nutritious meals to keep them hale and healthy. Also ensure that they are hydrated at all times.
What can a parent do to destress during exams?
First and foremost you need to understand that these exams are not the end of the world. As parents you must get over this mental block that good grades equals good life. Life is much more than just good grades. Many kids who were average at school went on to be successful men and women in life. With the world opening up, children now more than ever before have multiple opportunities to thrive and succeed in various fields across the globe. Academics are just one aspect of a child’s and not their life itself. So stay positive and motivate your child to do his or her best. This should reflect in the way you behave, talk and share your thoughts with the child. Stay positive.
Every child is unique and special. As parents it’s your duty to nurture and motivate your child and help them reach their full potential. Encourage them, identify their strengths and interests, do everything possible to help them achieve their dreams. You must also help them understand that success and failures are part and parcel of life and that how one handles them is more important that just achieving good grades in exams.
Good luck and happy parenting!