12th Mar 2016

Doing away with stress does not seem to be possible these days. And during the exam months the stress levels for both the parents and child escalates like never before. In order to help the child cope with exam stress it is important for the parent to control their own stress levels and ensure that the kid is in peace of mind when he or she sits for the exams in the hall.

For many children, examinations are a nightmare. Children fear that they will disappoint their parents and lose the respect of their peers if they do badly in a subject. Faced with such pressure, stress has become increasingly common amongst young children.

As a parent, don’t burden them more. But what is the best way? How to do it?

Child’s Diet

Children should always have their diets monitored. It is the growing up phase of the child and as such the parents need to ensure that all the nutritional requirements are met. During exams there is a natural accompaniment of some degree of anxiety and nervousness. As such special care must be taken regarding the diet of the child. It ought to be as simple as possible and easily digestible. All fast food and junk food should be avoided as they slow down the digestive system and cause other associated problems. So keep the diet simple and balanced. Once the regular metabolism is smooth, the stress levels will reduce automatically.

Avoid the “Failure Mentality”

Many children dread not only exam itself, but the after effects of an exam. Not all children come out of exams confident, especially after sitting for a subject they know they are weak at. Many questions may run through a child’s mind after the paper, “What if I answered the last question wrong? What if I fail my paper?”

As parents, we should not be too quick to criticise our children for their lack of confidence. Instead assure them that what is done has been done and that worrying will not help things. Help them relax and prepare for the next paper instead of dwelling on mistakes that they cannot change.

Encourage Consistency

Homework and studying should be a regular activity, so that preparing for a test is never a last-minute cram session. Test taking is a skill, which means it requires practice.

“You want your child to have a set study schedule that you revisit periodically to make sure it fits your life and your child’s life. Ideally your child spends time every night reviewing concepts learned in school, in addition to [doing] any homework,” says Anathea Simpkins, program manager for study skills and test prep at Sylvan Learning.

If study time is part of your child’s day, preparing for a test will simply be a regular activity. Make it clear that homework and review times are a priority. After-school activities are important, but so is homework and studying. Your child may want to head outside and play with friends, but he needs to make time for both.

Focus on Confidence

Never underestimate the power of confidence, which is the ultimate goal above a good test score. You want your child to walk into school confident every day, Sinovoi says. Be the supportive voice, offering encouragment as they work on their homework and tests. Make yourself available to field questions. You can also instill confidence by giving them space and time to do their work, showing them that their study time is important and they have a say in it.

A big reason students experience test anxiety is fear of the unknown. But if you emphasize how well your child knows the concepts to be covered on the test, he should feel more ready.

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