Exam time stress, fears and tears? You’ve got this, Super Mom!
Exam time is incredibly stressful for the whole family. The children get snappy, tearful and tired. Mom is tense and feeling like Sergeant Major checking on the studying and Dad is muttering about ‘getting a return on his investment in school fees’. Okay maybe it isn’t that bad but it is nevertheless an intensely demanding time on the whole family.
The pressure of exams on youngsters these days is fierce. They want to do well but their expectations and hopes can quickly be weighed down by a loaded exam timetable, masses of revision to be done, a feeling of being overwhelmed and fear of doing badly or not remembering what they’ve learned.
The best thing you can offer them is practical and emotional support. Yes, they will be tetchy and irritable but as far as possible, ignore their moods and resist the urge to fight back. Teens especially aren’t the best at handling stress.
- Do your best to give them a quiet space away from the noise of vacuum cleaners, TVs and siblings in which to revise. Help them organise their area so they have plenty of note paper, coloured pens and space to spread out their work.
- If they are open to it, help them plan a study timetable that includes breaks and down time. And when they take the breaks, a stroll outside in fresh air will help revive them. Exercise like a brisk walk or short run is excellent for putting more oxygen into the body, increasing their energy and reducing their stress levels.
- Agree on a ‘light’s out’ time every night. In order to retain information and process what it’s taken in, your child’s brain needs good sleep every night. If they struggle to sleep, a natural sleeping aid like A.Vogel Dormeasan can help without leaving them groggy the next day.
- Keep a constant supply of healthy snacks coming. Water, lots of it, is important as are nuts, protein such as chicken, and fruit. The brain is a very hungry organ and it needs good unadulterated, unprocessed food and water to maintain focus and concentration. Including a high quality nutritional supplement now is also a good idea. Bio-Strath (www.bio-strath.co.a) is an all-natural, clinically proven supplement that is relied on by thousands of students around the world to help improve memory and concentration, reduce learning fatigue and improve energy levels. Its unique formulation of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, building substances and trace elements will give your child 61 of the 100 nutrients they need every day and because it’s natural and easily absorbed by the body it’s effect is immediate.
- Limit sweets, chips and fast foods during exam time. Sugar highs and lows can wreak havoc with concentration levels and moods.
- Make time to help them. They might need help in going back over a tricky section by explaining to you what they’ve learned, or perhaps there are things they don’t understand and you can help them look up the explanations.
- Now here’s the tricky one – the cellphone. If you’re lucky, junior will hand it over without a fuss, agreeing with you that it’s too distracting. If it is their teenage equivalent of a security blanket and their lives might just collapse entirely if they aren’t in the know with what everyone else is doing, some negotiation around leaving it off and checking in during breaks may be required. Either way, your ace card is that popularity on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp have not yet got anyone into university anywhere in the world. (They can Google that later during a permitted ‘cell phone check in break’!)
- Above all, stress to your child that you trust them to do their work, you support them all the way and you believe in them. Don’t underestimate your child’s fear of letting you down or disappointing you at exam time. Let them know that as long as they do their best that is good enough for you.