As a mother of a full-blown teenager, sitting for his Grade 10th board, I can confidently state. It is entirely normal for children to feel a bit worried about exams, especially if they feel under pressure from school or family. In moderation and small doses, stress is essential to propel us towards our goals and aspirations. It’s only Extreme exam stress that can cause your child to feel anxious or even depressed, affecting their normal functioning. In my parenting training and one on one coaching, I always affirm that as role models, we parents too must deal with our stress first and then only help our children handle exam stress effectively. Children look upon us parents for inspiration, and much of their emotional status depends on parental support.
I can completely relate and empathise that you are stressed more than the child. However, with the dates nearing, you should not let your worries trouble the child. Your child in stress may showcase these symptoms: Children and young people who are stressed may:
- Constantly worry
- Always be tensed
- Display signs of constant pains and aches
- Have irregular sleep cycles
- Always stay irritated
As a parent staying calm yourself is the most important. Remember, exams do not last forever. Parents want their kids to do best, but that doesn’t mean that you may pressurise the kid.
- Parents should understand that each kid has their own way of revising lessons.
- Be flexible around exam time. Parents should never set unrealistic goals for the kids. Encourage kids rather than imposing your dreams and aspirations on them.
- Make sure they have a comfortable and quiet place to work and study.
- Some children can revise better with music or the TV on in the background. Just accept that!!
- Re-arrange the family’s schedules and priorities that work for the child to establish a proper revision routine
- Understand lost tempers and moodiness and give them a break
- Try to avoid nagging them and not disturb their focus
- Please encourage them to work for their satisfaction; don’t go in for bribes
- Give your child rewards for their efforts in studying well. That always does not mean giving gifts. Give them some extra free time or extra tv time for this.
- Always be calm and positive and think for the betterment of the child.
On the exam day, ensure they sleep well, have a good breakfast and have a checklist for everything they need for the exam. Please encourage your child more than anything and let them know that you are proud of their efforts. Also, encourage them to focus on the next exam and not to dwell on mistakes they may have felt they have made.
Please note our children’s Mental health is much more important than grades or any accolades! It’s our prime responsibility to build their self-esteem and confidence, not only based on their grades and GPA!
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