With the final exams around the corner, it's inevitable for students to feel a heightened sense of stress and anxiety. Managing your child's stress level during this period will also allow you to manage yours effectively! Here are some tips on how to do so:
#1 – Plan for Revision... & Rest
Just having a simple plan for revision for the next few months or weeks can reduce the uncertainty and makes them feel more confident that they will be ready. It doesn't have to be very detailed, just having a direction and an idea on how to prepare for exams ahead can be good enough.
Find out which topics they think they need more practice on, and help them prioritise these topics.
Not familiar with the school topics or not confident enough to help them with their school work? Get their elder sibling or cousin to help, or encourage them to reach out to their classmates, school teacher or tuition teacher.
Remember to plan breaks too! Studies show that regular breaks help students retain information better and significantly reduces stress.
#2 – Sleep is King
The exam period often means late-night mugging - memorising, practising, learning. Reduced sleep and disrupted rest reduces one's ability to remember things or focus, both of which are not what you want during this last lap of exam preparations. So, encourage your child to get the much-needed rest, to recharge and be ready to take on a new day.
#3 – Allow them to Vent
The learning process, or, life in general, is not always smooth-sailing. Providing a listening ear to your child provides them an avenue to blow off steam. It is equally important to listen as it is to share advice. Listening allows your kids to share their troubles without worry.
It signals to them that you are here to listen to problems they face.
Talking to your kids also allows you to learn more about their causes of anxiety and stress. This would be a good opportunity to share with your child how stress is normal and felt by everyone. It is a normal reaction to the uncertainty exams bring about – what’s important is managing it.
#4 – Practice Relaxation Techniques
Anxiety can undo a lot of the work that the child has already put in. Once they catch themselves in an unhealthy state, they can apply some relaxation techniques to calm down:
#5 – Spend Quality time with your Child
An occasional break allows your child to have a much-needed breather from studying. As shared above, breaks help children study more effectively!
Visit the park, go out for a meal, watch a short movie, or basically anything that he/she enjoys. This allows them to take their mind off studying and provides a positive distraction in a period of immense stress.
If they're up for physical activities, even better! A walk around your estate, cycling on the PCN, or a game of badminton helps boost serotonin levels in our brain that enhances our mood and well-being. This also provides the perfect bonding opportunity for you and your child.
#6 – Stay Calm
This isn't a tip just for your child but also yourself! Children are easily affected by your behaviour so, when you stress, your kids stress too! It is important to manage your stress efficiently so that it does not exert undue pressure on your child. It might also be helpful to share with your child that if things go south or if they underperform, there are other opportunities and exams in the future. Often children feel stressed due to the fear of disappointing those important to them, like you, so talking and rationalising disappointment helps go a long way. After all, education is a marathon not a sprint!
Trying these strategies out and you can look forward to more efficiently managing your child's exam stress! These tips go a long way beyond school life too!