When it comes to exam time, there are some steadfast and simple things any parent can do and say to their children:

  1. Remain calm and relaxed when talking with your child. Children can sense stress in their parents quite easily and do not need this extra burden on them during exam times. Many parents will remember their own feelings associated with exams and need to learn from it. Be supportive.
  2. Parents need to reduce their own stress levels associated with their children`s exam times, so focus on what works best for you in this regard. Perhaps go for a walk, play a sport or any activity that can release nervous tension and distract the mind.
  3. Depending on your child`s levels of organisation, it might be helpful to go through their study plan, helping them to break up their work into manageable pieces and making sure they schedule enough social time for a healthy balance.
  4. Keep an eye out for changes in behaviour. As parents we should look to see how our children are responding to, and managing, their stress levels. If there are any notable changes in how they behave then have a chat and ask them how you can help. This simple act may be enough in itself, as your child will feel listened to and supported.
  5. Ensure your child is eating normally. Often exam pressures mean your child eats snack foods and misses out on a nutritious and balanced diet.
  6. Children often want to study late and for longer hours (cramming) which eats into sleeping time. It is very important that children have a sufficient amount of sleep so they can function normally. Proper levels of sleep aid the memory process and make children less cranky.
  7. Try not to make too many demands on your child at this time as any ensuing arguments will be entirely counterproductive. That said children still have responsibilities they need to maintain.
  8. Try to listen, absorb, and contain the distress of your child through affirmation and reassurance. Make sure they know that their worth to you and others is separate from their achievements.
  9. It is important to stick to the schedule as it ensures that there is a systematic routine to follow and the focus lies on all the subjects and the exercises. But while you encourage the kid to follow the routine make sure that you do not end up screaming when the kid relaxes one task on a given day and desires to focus on another or wishes to extend his play hour or break-time by another half-an-hour. Be firm but human in your approach.
  10. Most of all make sure your child knows you are there to support them unconditionally regardless of the exam results.


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