While exam time can be a difficult period for students, parents go through the motions of exam stress just the same. As a parent, worrying about your children’s state of preparation for the exams is completely natural. You may also be concerned about their sleeping patterns and if they’re eating properly or not. However, there are ways you can aid your stressed child to ensure that things go as smoothly as possible.
How Can Stress Impact Your Child’s Exam Performance?
Increased anxiety can trigger panic in children and make it difficult for them to focus as well as recall information during the exam. Some other times, they could fail to read or understand the questions correctly. When you’re stressed, your mind goes to the negative side, forcing students to assume that examinations measure the success or failure of their lives.
As a parent, you can help break this thought pattern and inculcate a healthier way of looking at exams. Many kids also fall into a stressful pattern because they’re worried about how their parents would react to poor exam scores. Below, you’ll find 6 ways you can help ease exam stress for your child as well as yourself.
6 Ways Parents Can Relieve Exam Stress
1. Show Compassion & Empathy
As a parent, refrain from pressurising your child during an already stressful situation. Avoid comparing your children to others as that can lower their morale. Your child is going through a difficult time, prepping and anticipating the results of their hard work. Having a strong family bond builds a compassionate atmosphere. Show kindness to your child as well as yourself, you both are doing the best that you can.
2. Acknowledge Your Child’s Effort
Parents need to be able to not only see the effort but honour and respect it. Refrain from setting unrealistic goals for your children. Honour their capacity and encourage them to work harder. Keep your child’s overall development in mind when acknowledging their effort instead of focusing on immediate exam scores. Offer them words of encouragement and affirmations to let them know that you care.
3. Relieve Some Of Your Child’s Pressure
Yes, your child’s exams are extremely important, getting high scores ensures they get into a good college. However, you need to teach them the importance of inculcating skills and not just high scores. Speak with your child before to examination to ensure that they’re calm. Always remember, your child’s marks don’t define their intelligence to keep an outlook that puts more emphasis on calibre and talent instead of scores.
4. Reinforce Eating Healthy & Sleeping Well
Remind your child that while they may feel the pressure to stay up late and finish revising chapters or skip meals because time spent studying is more important, both sleep and food are necessary to not only nourish them but to keep stress at bay. As parents, you also need to eat and sleep well as you too take on a lot of effort for your children. You staying healthy will encourage them to do so as well and will help them work at their best capacity.
5. Keep The Doors Open For Both Academic & Emotional Support
It can be extremely stressful when you’re helping your child prepare for their exams. Parents can sometimes let their frustration and impatience get the best of them. However, being their go-to person instead of a tyrant will make them approach you more willingly, in case of any doubt or clarification as well as emotional support and a safe space. Pay attention to your child’s emotions and avoid ignoring any unusual behaviour.
6. Practice Stress-Busting Exercises
Go on walks, runs or yoga classes with your child or indulge in their favourite sport with them. This will help build a bond between you and your child and help both of you release stress. Any form of mindful movement will also boost both your energy levels and clear the mind to prepare better. Before you start the study day, practice a 10-minute meditation routine or simple pranayama to create an awareness of the mind and body connection.
Parents, exam stress may be something that you’re worried about but always remember that being there for your child is what matters. As long as you do that, and help your child prepare to their capacity, the exam period will go by quickly and easily. Make sure to take breaks and let your child take breaks as well for you can’t pour from an empty cup.