It’s that time of the year when both students and parents start to feel the heat of exam pressure. It’s just a two-week period in a student’s life, but it’s a time that can create a excessive amount of stress for students, and consequently the whole family. So why does a fortnight of exams become so stressful? What impact does this have on performance and well-being? And what can parents do to help put their child at ease?
How can I help my child during exam season?
A parent should act as a supporter for the child during exams. Remember, the child is already feeling anxious and stressed about their performance in exams. At this point, as a parent, you could:
- Provide adequate and nutritious food to keep them fit and healthy
- Make sure they get adequate rest
- Provide the much needed assurance and emotional support for your child to overcome their apprehensions
How do I know whether my child is suffering from exam stress?
As a parent, you will know how your child reacts when they are scared, strained or bugged. Often children talk to parents about their anxieties, frustrations, or their difficulties in coping with studies. Some of the anxieties expressed by children are that they have not adequately prepared, what if they do not get the seat/course they want, inability to concentrate, forgetting everything, not able to grasp the subjects etc. Being available for the child and monitoring becomes important to keep track of any changes in their behaviour. Reassuring the child that the focus is on journey rather than finishing line will calm them to a great extent. It is important to keep your calm and not to induce fear in them.
Should I allow my child to study at night?
Every child is different and so are their study patterns. Some prefer sleeping early and waking up early in the morning to study, while others concentrate better at night. If your child can study at night and rest in the morning, let them do so. Also, remember that children tend to sleep more in their teens. If their sleep is disturbed, they won’t be able to function efficiently during the day time.
Can I let my child browse the internet, watch TV or go play outside?
It’s okay if your child takes a break from studying to check a message on the phone or browse the internet for some time. But there should be some amount of self-control on how much time is spent on the internet and phone. Instead, suggest going for a walk or listening to music for sometime. This may help your child feel refreshed. As a parent, the best thing to do is to make them feel responsible for their actions.
As a parent, how do I de-stress myself during exams?
You need to first understand that each child is unique and every child has his or her own strengths and talents. You also need to understand and accept that people can make a living and lead a good life, with or without ace marks. Valuing your child only on the basis of academics is not at all the right thing to do. Parents need to get over this misconception. Academics are just one part of life and not life itself. Accepting the child’s potential and finding possibilities within that purview is a sensible way to support your child.
All in all…
As parents, helping your child identifying their strengths, interests, and reinforcing their self-esteem and self-confidence is the most important and sensible way to nurture them. This should be reflected in your everyday conversations with your child. See that your day to day conversations do not indicate that you respect only success, show the attitude of taking both success and failure even-handedly and also that both are equally important. Ask yourself, what is the content of your talk with your child most of the time? Is that making your child feel happy and confident? If not, you need to change the content of your talk such that your child grows as a healthy and happy individual.