Sunday 11 December 2016

Parents: 10 things you can do to ease pressure on exam-stressed kids

Published 24/05/2016 | 09:39

Encouraging them to exercise even for ten minutes after each exam can be helpful.
Encouraging them to exercise even for ten minutes after each exam can be helpful.

When it comes to exams, parents can worry as much as students. Parents will have realised by now that they can't force their children to study, and with the looming date of the state exams here are some tips on what you can do to help de-stress your child during exam time.

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1) Provide them with a quiet place to study

Make sure your child has a desk to themselves in a quiet place. Having somewhere to study is important to help your child to get through the exams. Try to remove clutter from the room if possible as students will use cleaning as a distraction to avoid studying. If you’ve other children ask them to be considerate of their sibling's needs during exam time.

2) Don’t add to their stress

Constantly hovering over your child asking them about the exams or reminding them of the points they need will add extra stress to your child. While you can help them focus on their goals, don’t overhype the importance of any exam.

3) Praise

Praise your child for the things they are doing right and keep morale and motivation high. Motivated students will apply themselves more in exams.

4) Ensure they are eating a balanced diet

With the stress of exams, students often forget to eat, and often munch on junk food. Make sure your child is eating properly during the day, especially at dinner time. While you should avoid letting your child stress-eat junk food, treats can often be used as a reward system sparingly.

5) Make sure they get a good night’s sleep

Staying up all night allows students to cram in more information but if they don’t get enough sleep they are more likely to forget the information or underperform.

6) Exercise

It might be the last thing on your child’s mind when they get home from an exam but even going for a ten or fifteen minute walk will help your child to relax and destress their mind.

7) Be familiar with your child’s timetable

Knowing what exams your child has coming up will mean you’re better able to help them prepare. You can make sure they have the right equipment they need for their exam such as calculators, rulers and revision material. If your child knows that you will be there to help them prepare on the day, it will alleviate their stress levels.

8) Listen

When each exam is over, allow your child to recount the exam but then help them to move on. Don’t let them dwell on errors or complications but help them focus on the next exam and their strengths.

9) Accept your child’s abilities

Unrealistic expectations won’t benefit you or your child. Accept that your child might struggle with certain subjects and encourage them to do their best.

10) Be patient

If your child is being extra contrary or is fighting with their siblings, it is probably due to their stress. Understand that they are feeling the pressure and may lash out at family members.

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