3 easy ways to support your child this exam season
By Nomali Cele
During exam time most parents, with the best of intentions, put pressure on their children to pass with flying colours. Parent’s reason for this is so that their children are well on the road to getting into the best universities. Then they will be able to go on to do great and memorable things with their lives. Perhaps they will even change the world.
This is every parent’s dream, but sometimes that dream can cause parents to put too much pressure on their kids especially during exam time.In fact, high exam stress can cause a child to do poorly during exams. Here are three ways you can support your young champion this exam season.
Healthy routine and balance
Support and motivate them but help them understand that the exam results won’t change how much you love them. It should be clear that exam results and your child’s self-worth are not synonymous with you. With this in mind, encourage them to keep a healthy balanced routine.
Curfews may seem ‘lame’ but it will help them concentrate on each exam after a good night’s rest. Realistically speaking, they may have to pull an all-nighter or two, in which case, they should drink green tea rather than coffee or energy drinks. This way their energy levels won’t crash just before the exam. But nothing will beat a good night’s sleep as often as possible. A healthy, balanced routine will help your child avoid burnout during exam season.
Don’t kill their social life
Encourage them to spend time with friends and family. Chat with them about topics that don’t involve exams or “the future.” Allow them to be around their friends for a while because complete isolation could add to their stress and negatively affect their emotional health.
Remind your child to take regular breaks from studying, and encourage them to keep up with the physical activity of their choice. This will not only burn all that excess energy but will help alleviate anxiety leading up to an exam. An afternoon spent with friends is more beneficial for helping your child refocus on their work than days of uninterrupted cramming is.
A lot of children learn differently, speak to your child to find out what’s the best way for them revise: a textbook or explaining concepts out loud to a study partner (you). This is why it’s best to always consult teachers and counsellors on your child’s learning strengths and weaknesses. Armed with this information you will know where they most need help and where you can just let them be. When you know your child’s strengths and weaknesses, you will know how they do their thing and how they do it effectively — within a reasonable time frame, of course.
The worst that could and has happened to some students are studying hard all night, only to discover in the morning that they were studying for the wrong subject. Have a copy of their exam timetable so that you can remind your child what they’re studying for. It also means that you know exactly when you need to get them to their exam venue on time.
There you have it, a healthy, balanced plan to help you support your child to do their best this exam season.
Image by Alex Proimos via Wiki Media Commons