Supporting your Child Navigate through Exam Stress

Supporting your Child Navigate through Exam Stress



In today’s age, parents cannot afford to take exams and grades lightly. At the same time, they shouldn’t direct their fears, stress, and expectations on children and just be their support system. Yet,  most parents falter not because they are unaware of this fact but because they aren’t conscious of their approach.
To most parents the parenting styles discussed below seem acceptable and in one way or the other sound supportive. Right? Wrong. At Least that is not the kind of support a child is seeking from their parents. So Let’s dive into the do’s, don’ts, and how-to’s  of supporting your children during exams;
Parenting Style 1:
Child: I am scared of my exam tomorrow. I don’t know If I will remember anything I studied!
Parent: What is the point of being tense now? What did you do this whole year? Just go study how much ever you can and stop worrying.
Though the parent is asking the child not to worry, They sure are sending their child on a guilt trip and shutting them completely from coming to the parent for any more help.
Be their constant Cheerleader
During exams, children are already under great stress. Their teachers, competition, and comparison with their peers give them enough cause for anxiety and stress, that as a parent you don’t have to add on to it. when you start venting your own fear for their performance in exams in the form of anger, your child has nowhere to go! You tell them that they should have done better or started the prep early on, you are only paralyzing them with fear.
Instead, assure them that they still have time to study and do better. Ask them to start studying what is important in that particular subject. Suggest studying easier topics in between as breaks while going through tougher ones. If they seem like they want to give up as they feel overwhelmed, Help them stay on track by saying that the result doesn’t matter to you as they are giving their best efforts.
Encourage them. Be their constant support system.
Parenting Style 2:
Child: I am so tired! I will go to sleep now and wake up early tomorrow to revise.
Parent: It is your exam time, It’s alright if you don’t sleep early for a few days! Finish your revision before you go to bed. You can wake up early and revise again.
Parents are indirectly suggesting to the child that their health and needs come only after their success. Also, they are forgetting the importance of good rest for better performance in exams and life in general.
Sit with them and help them plan a schedule
The responsibility for the child’s physical and mental health is absolutely on the parents’ shoulders. However supportive you may be, children are bound to be stressed about their exams, and to a certain extent that is a good thing. It doesn’t matter how well your child is prepared if they get sick the day before or on the day of their exam.
Exam season doesn’t mean you throw away discipline and study all the time. Sit down with your child and help them plan a schedule and support them in following it every day. When you fix a schedule for their meals, going to bed, and waking up, it gives them a time frame in which they have to plan their preparation. As a parent, you may be worried and feel compelled to push your child to work longer hours. But teaching your child to stick to a schedule where their personal time and health are given equal priority will help them immensely in their adulthood.
Parenting Style 3:
Child: I revised everything, But it still feels like I have left out something!
Parent: Don’t Worry Kanna! You are so smart. You will ace your test.
Oh! This one is interesting. These parents seem chill and stress-free, But they are being completely oblivious to the stress their child is feeling.
Ask what they need from you
As a parent, you would have long realized that your child doesn’t like to be told what to do but they do appreciate knowing that you are involved. Don’t be stubbornly strict, They already have their teachers doing that for them! Let them know you are available if they need anything by checking on them now and then.
Brushing off their concerns by saying something that you think is positive, like “You are the best!” or “You can do anything!”  will do them more harm than good. Such comments make your child feel unnecessary pressure. Instead, along with letting them know that they are smart, support them by giving snacks in between their preparation as a small break. When they seem to be stressed go sit with them, hug them, and then let them know they will do well in their exam.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to supporting children, But they definitely need positive support from their parents. As a parent, it is your responsibility to observe and understand what your child truly needs.


Author’s Name:- Krishna Gangadhar

Krishna Gangadhar

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