Supporting Your Child Through Exam Stress
Exams are around the corner. From assessments to assignments, deadlines and revision holidays, exam fever is running pretty high right now in most homes with young children. Children can feel stressed and parents, even more, as the focus on scoring well is massive. As much as we may not look forward to them, tests and exams are a part of the many academic challenges our children face. It can be a tense atmosphere at home, but there’s plenty parents and children can do, to ease the stress, because we all know, worrying never did anyone any good.
As parents, keep a close eye on your kids and watch out for any signs of stress. This can be
- Feeling nervous or tense
- Changes in sleep and appetite
- Experiencing headaches and stomach aches
- Loss of interest in activities they generally enjoy
- Having a negative outlook and feeling hopeless about the future
What to do
If you notice that your child is stressed, do not panic. Instead
Encourage them to talk to a teacher or an adult they find supportive. Reward them with simple privileges and treats for completing their revision and working on their studying. It can be watching TV or getting to pick their favourite meal. Help them study by guiding them on creating a study schedule or teaching them concepts they find difficult.
Focus on good sleep and eating right
Eating the right foods and a balanced diet is important for your child’s health. Offer plenty of nutritious snacks and fruits and limit the high sugar and fat foods. Getting enough sleep helps improve memory and concentration. So encourage your child to wind down early, getting some quiet time before bedtime to help them relax and hit the bed. Avoid excessive screen time, especially close to bedtime, as this can interfere with sleep.
Set up the atmosphere
Having a dedicated spot to study that is comfortable, well lit, non-cluttered, free of distraction can help your child study and revise better. Turn off TVs and music systems at study time and keep the noise down.
During revision holidays and exam days, be flexible in your expectations from your child about other household chores and things. It could be a messy room or piled up laundry. As parents, it is important we stay calm as this sets the tone in the house.
Open lines of communication
Spend some time every day talking to your child, understanding how they are feeling. Make them comfortable enough to share any anxiety or nervousness they’re feeling. Keep a positive outlook and boost their confidence. Sometimes, children feel that the most amount of pressure comes from their family. So be mindful of criticism and keep your own calm.
Keep it stress-free
As much as your kids might feel pressure during exam time, it is also important they take out time for breaks and some recreation. It can be small pockets of time for a sport or some physical activity like walking or cycling. Be encouraging and reassuring, your child’s confidence comes from how you view them. So focus on their strengths and reassure them of their abilities. Spend some quality time with them, letting them know that failure isn’t the end of everything and it only matters they do their best.
Children can feel nervous about disappointing their parents or not meeting their expectations. A lot of the pressure our kids feel can come from our own expectations as parents. So it is just as important we learn to ease off the stress and pressure surrounding exams. If you feel like your child is struggling despite assistance and trying out various strategies, do not hesitate from reaching out to a counsellor for support and guidance. Help is always just a phone call away. You can reach out to our counsellors at KinderPass anytime.
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