15 Feb

11 ways parents can help reduce exam stress in children

how to reduce exam stress (1)

Exam time is like flu. Nobody gets spared once the epidemic arrives. Not the children, not the parents. Luckily this flu comes with a timetable. It’s that time of the year again. The younger generation is going through varied types of stress over approaching exams.

Here are a few pointers, parents can use to calm down worried kids.

1.  Worrying only makes it worse

Parents tend to worry about results, but adding to the child’s stress can be avoided. For starters, letting children study according to their comfort can be granted. Some parents believe in the lights being out at 10 pm but if the child is comfortable studying late at night, let them be.

2. Having realistic expectations

Children have less experience in handling and managing stress. If pressurized, they might react adversely. Parents can keep their expectations realistic. Encourage and assure children that every small achievement counts. It will definitely calm children and help them perform better.

3. Regular breaks and refresh time

Some parents stop play time and use of gadgets as exams draw near. Restricting these activities during exam time can be agreed upon. But stopping it completely will hamper the child’s ability to focus consistently. Planning a schedule with children should help. Include regular breaks. Encourage children to stick to the schedules.

4. Cool Down time post exam

Children after exams are equally stressed. They’re unsure about the questions they’ve solved. Dissecting the exam paper as soon as the child is home makes them feel worse. Discussing it at a later appropriate time should do. Dwelling on mistakes won’t be any help. Help children relax before they start preparing for the next exam.

5. Celebrate exams

In an address in February 2018, our honourable Prime Minister motivated board exam students. He suggested that students treat exams like festivals. If children can adopt this it can help them change their approach towards exams. Children should know that exams as a part of the learning curve. Exams and tests are not a scale that will define their capabilities.

6. Diet and sleep plan

Keep a check on your child’s diet and sleep pattern. Unhealthy food and lack of sleep make children irritable. Feeding kids food rich in proteins, minerals and vitamins will help them boost their immunity and stay fit for exams. A balanced diet with enough sleep will help them stay alert and concentrate better.

7. Rejuvenating activities

Encourage meditation at the end of the day. It helps the healthy functioning of the mind. 10 mins of guided meditation will help keep stress, anxiety and fatigue away. It’ll also help children recharge themselves mentally.

8. Mood swings

Let children vent. Children are likely to let off the steam on parents since they’re the closest to them. Don’t take it personally. Walk away, take a few deep breaths and let it pass. Let the kids know you understand it.

9. Creating study spaces

Help children create a study space for themselves. Make sure the rest of the family understands it. For the time being, let them off from household chores. Non-urgent family stuff should be dealt with without them. These things just bother and distract children.

10. Failure- A part of life

Children are fearful of teachers and parents disapproval of results. Children might or might not get figures on their report card as per parent’s likings. Don’t let that dishearten children.  Reassure children that failure is a part of life. And that they can do better next time. It will help them rebuild their confidence.

11. Expert advice

If you don’t see signs of stress being relieved in children, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Ask their teachers for guidance. Take a professional’s opinion if needed. Let’s understand these are just phases children are going through. It will only help them build their resilience for their future.

Key takeaways:

  • Observe and recognise signs of stress in your child and help them manage it.
  • Examinations are very stressful. Avoid adding unwanted pressure on children and push them beyond limits.
  • Help your children recharge their energy levels. Allow them to take short breaks. Taking walks in open spaces, playing with their pets etc. Unwinding will help them to calm down and concentrate better.
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