Examinations are inevitable, and the mere nature of exams is what leads to inducing stress amongst children of all age groups. Since we’re amidst the intense exam season we thought of dedicating a post towards the bundle of stress that comes along with the entire study process.
Year 12 exams – it’s just a two-week period in a student’s life, but it’s a time that can create an enormous amount of stress for students, and consequently the whole family.
Stress is a normal part of human existence; we are built for fight or flight when we encounter stressful situations.
But some find it harder to cope with pressure than others – and research shows that for those people, stress can have a detrimental effect on performance and participation in school. Stress is normal when we engage in something challenging. We feel stressed because we are vulnerable that we may not perform well. Teach your child that this uncomfortable feeling is good because it means you are challenging yourself.
Parents can play a huge role in curbing this stress that the children face during the toughest times of their school days. Don’t protect them from the challenge, or make the stress abnormal, or they’ll think it is something to fear. Teach them to take the day as it comes and not fret over studies. Sure, it’s something that they’re supposed to take very seriously but try to help them get over the fear by making them feel at ease. Ask them how they feel, listen and encourage, but help them to see challenge as a good thing.
Your child can feel like if they don’t succeed at this then it means their whole life is a failure. They need to know there is not one perfect plan but there are multiple pathways to success. And the phrase, ‘Failures are the pillars of success’ was not just said for no reason. Make them realise that scoring poor marks in an examination is not the end of life and that there will always be more opportunities for them to prove themselves. These minor failures can act as stepping stones for something bigger and better that awaits them in the future. Failure (or not getting exactly what you want) is a normal part of life. Great success incorporates great failure. Failure is an event that provides us with choices; it is not who we are.
Everyone learns differently. Work out the most effective environment for your child. Do they like to be alone or study with friends? They may be a visual learner and use lots of pictures, or a verbal learner and need to talk through ideas. Study can be more effective when you space it out over time. So, take a three-hour study session and add a five-minute break every 30 minutes to improve their productivity. Diet is also an important factor as well. Make sure your child is well fed at regular intervals and the diet must follow a healthy routine. It should incorporate foods that stimulate the brain cells to work better.
Rest assured, if you follow the right method of teaching and comforting, your child will perform exceptionally well provided you approach them as a friendly mentor and not a stern parent.