How Parents Can Help Children Cope With Exam Stress
Exams can be quite stressful for many students. This is especially true for students who are still in school. Many children fear that they'll disappoint their parents and teachers if they perform poorly in exams. The fear of failure can create unnecessary pressure on students and make their life stressful. Too much stress and anxiety not only affects a student's performance during an exam, but can also lead them to take wrong steps like lying and resorting to cheating on exams.
In India, with the Board exams for class 10 and 12 drawing closer, the government has decided to take measures to help students deal with stress and anxiety. For example, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is all set to hold - Pareeksha Pe Charcha - an interactive session with CBSE students on February 16, 2018, at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi. He has gone on record to suggest that students treat exams like festivals. Mr. Modi has also penned a book titled "Exam Warriors" which was recently launched by Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj and HRD Minister, Prakash Javadekar. Various measures are also being taken by different state boards to help students cope with exam stress.
With the government taking so much effort towards eradicating the exam fear in children, parents too, can do their part and help children deal with exams easily. As a responsible parent, you can help your children cope with exam stress and fear by boosting their confidence and helping them perform well. Here are few ways to contribute:
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1. Recognize the signs of stress
Is your child really stressed out? Children might not feel comfortable talking about exam stress, but you, as a parent, can look for signs of stress in your children and talk to them about it. Here are some common signs of stress.
If you ever come across these symptoms in your child, try to look into the matter immediately. Make your children understand that exams are not a big deal and stressing about it is only going to make the situation worse.Teach them to take exams as a part of their learning process.
2. Help them make a study schedule
Most students are stressed out before examinations due to their lack of confidence to perform well in the exams. Help your children with exam preparation. Encourage them to make a study schedule and prepare for the exams accordingly. When students are well prepared in advance, they do not need to stress out with last-minute studying and uncertainties regarding exam preparation.
3. Seek expert advice
If you think that your child is going through a lot lately and is showing no signs of improvement despite your support, do not hesitate to seek professional help. Talk to a counselor about your child's problem. With proper guidance and support, children can easily get over exam fear and improve their concentration on studies.
4. Take time out for your children
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Exam stress often leads to depression in students, which is why it is necessary for parents to interact with their children regularly. If you are a working parent, make sure to spend some quality time with your children each day. Never force your children to meet unrealistic and high expectations. Be positive and reassuring; encourage them to do better everyday.
5. Encourage your children to take breaks
Taking breaks in between studies have proven to be very helpful. It helps improve concentration and retention power of the memory. Do not force students to sit with books all day long before the exam; it is a bad practice and can make your children fear studying even more. Ask them to take a 15-minute break every 2 hours.
6. Check their diet and sleep pattern
Children tend to eat very unhealthy food when they are not at home. Make sure to feed them food rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals to boost their immunity and keep them fit during exam season. A balanced diet is very necessary to beat exam stress. Fresh food, green leafy vegetables, pulses, and dairy products must be consumed regularly. Parents must ensure that children do not eat too much sugary food or energy drinks during exams. Also, students should get good 8 hours of sleep daily to improve concentration.
7. Encourage children to exercise and meditate
Exercise is very important for a healthy functioning of the mind and body. Parents must encourage children to mediate and exercise regularly. 30 minutes of exercise early in the morning can keep stress, anxiety, and fatigue away and give them ample energy to study well throughout the day.
8. Teach them how to accept failure and move on
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Students are often fearful of failing to meet their parent's expectations. Teach children it is okay to fail sometimes. Every failure teaches a new lesson and students should learn to accept failure and move on to do better in life.