How can you stop exam pressure in its tracks?
It is so easy for our children to feel the pressure from exams.
Many times, we parents together with the educators at school can be the ones that are actually piling up the pressure.
How do you stop child pressure during exam time?
- Stop talking about the exams! This is the easiest of all. If you do not mention the exams every other day, your child will feel less pressure- be sure the school is mentioning it often enough!
- Do not badger your child to study: yeah I can see your look of disbelief and indignation. However, let us be honest, when did your child smile at you and happily went to study just because you mentioned it like 20 times in the last hour (OK I am exaggerating!)? Still, this is also a matter of making them responsible and even exams are good ways to teach it. Reminding your child to study is taking away their responsibility and making YOU responsible for their result. So, just remind them once every now and again and let them be.
- Why study at all? Yeah you heard me right! Exams are pieces of paper, which will not define your child. Your child might get nervous during exam time and while the paper is simple enough, their nervousness makes them do lots of mistakes. Your child might not be naturally good in certain subjects and no matter how hard they study the result is depressingly the same. I prefer looking at my children’s work throughout the year, rather than that one blessed paper to know where they are. While, some children do need that bit of push and help and study time to remind them, I also believe that if a child understood the subject taught throughout the year, they will be good for the exam without much looking at any books and notes. I always ask my oldest do you feel the need to study anything in particular? If the answer is no I will ask again nearer to exams to make sure but leave it at that. If I get a positive answer for something I remind once nearer to exams and let him decide how to tackle it (of course he knows that if he needs my help he can ask).
- Spend lots of time outdoors. Yep, children need at least 2-3 hours of unstructured play of which half should be outdoors. Being out in nature is a stress reliever so by spending more time in nature you are helping your child feel less stress.
- Make sure your children know that no matter the result, you will continue loving them, encouraging them and supporting them on this life journey. Children tend to feel more pressure and stress if they perceive the parents will fuss about the result. If they believe they are expected to do good. If the bar is set high for them. So just go down a few notches and show them AND tell them that you are there no matter what!
What do you do to help your children with exams?