BBC radio has done a survey that proved that parents also go through a lot of stress and worry over their children’s exams. Nearly a quarter of parents said that their mental health suffers during the exams and that they have trouble sleeping in that period. More than half of them stated that they would like to get help or advice to deal with their stress and support their kids.
So, if you are a parent feeling pressured by your children’s tests: we hear you, and we are here to help. Here are some tips that will get all of you safe and sound to a good grade.
You Can’t Help with Exams Unless You Are OK
Before you start helping your kids with exams, you need to pull yourself together. You can’t help anyone when you’re stressed and anxious. As an adult, you need to objectively observe the situation and realize that there is no exam worthy of jeopardizing your and your children’s mental health.
Also, keep in mind that anything is achievable with practice, effort, and encouragement. If you still can’t keep calm, do your best to stay composed in front of your child. If they see you anxious, they will stress out even more.
Track Their Behavior
Children often don’t know how to express their emotions with words. And if you ask them how they’re feeling about their exams, they’ll probably say that they are okay, even if that’s not true. Children will show their frustration through changed behavior. For example, they will be easily irritable, they will not be able to sleep normally, and they will have trouble enjoying the things they normally enjoy. An extreme example would be engaging in self-harming behaviors.
Communicate with Your Child
While your child might have a hard time articulating their emotions, you should be able to talk to them and share your thoughts. First of all, explain that no pressure is coming from you. Sure, you want them to perform well, but it’s not a matter of life and death. Show that you have faith in them to demonstrate responsibility and knowledge, and offer your help with studying.
Work on Study Habits
Preparing for an exam is something a lot of kids leave for a couple of days before the event. However, if they’re attentive in class, work consistently, and build study habits with pretests, the exam will cause less stress.
It’s a good idea to make a studying timetable that outlines which subjects should be covered on which days. At the end of the day and the week, review the completed material and go over it together.
Encourage Healthy Habit
Losing sleep over exams can only cause a lack of focus and memory issues. That’s why it is imperative for kids to have a consistent bedtime routine and to get between eight and nine hours of sleep each night. This should be particularly prioritized on the night before the exam. A balanced diet can also boost brain capacity and improve memory. Some of the foods that help keep children’s brains sharp include nuts, seeds, apples, plums, oatmeal, fish, eggs, and greens.
Give Your Child Space
While you need to watch over your kids, help them, and encourage them, children need to have their own space where they can learn and practice without distractions. This room needs to be equipped with a comfortable chair and desk, as well as all the necessary learning materials such as books, notebooks, pencils, rulers, calculators, etc. Make sure there is enough natural light in the room, but equip it with task lights (table lamps) as well.
Talk to Their Teachers
Your kid’s teacher (or teachers) will have a good grasp of their knowledge and the areas they’re struggling with. Be involved in their learning process by occasionally talking to the teachers to discover how you can help. The fact that you are interested in their education will also motivate the kids to give their best, so it’s a win-win situation.
Free Time Is Important
We’ve already mentioned creating a studying schedule that will help your kids keep up with their obligations. However, you can’t expect them to sit in their room with their noses inside books all the time. Even more than grownups, children need their free time to enjoy the things they love.
Depending on their preferences, it would be best if they spend that time socializing or just being outside. But if they really enjoy watching Youtube and playing video games, they can also do that during breaks. The most important thing is that these activities are enjoyed during set breaks and don’t interrupt studying.
Helping our kids succeed in school is important for their self-esteem and future. However, preserving mental health is even more important. This goes for parents as well. So, make sure the entire family gives their best to create an encouraging environment for the students preparing for their exams – but also keep in mind that those are just tests.