However old your child or whichever tests they’re taking, exam season can be fraught with anxiety, stress, and pressure… and it can be even worse for the kids too!
As parents we all want our little ones to do well and to be happy but it’s important to find a balance between the two: encouraging your child academically and putting too much pressure on them to do well.
If your child has exams coming up, here are some positive ways you can support them:
Set deadlines and schedules instead of nagging
Rather than constantly asking your child how their revision is going or checking up on their homework, work with them to establish a clear set of revision deadlines or schedules. This can be useful for your child, who might not be able to accurately estimate the time each revision task might take, and will help you keep track of how they’re doing without nagging them.
Set rewards instead of punishments
Getting angry at your teenager for not revising enough is just going to make them feel even more negative about the whole process. Instead of punishing them for not doing enough, reward them when they do try. Have treats on hand after a day’s completed revision and prepare their favourite meal to commiserate or celebrate a finished exam.
Encourage healthy habits
If your child doesn’t want you to be involved in their actual revision, you can still help them develop habits that will boost their wellbeing (and therefore their brain power) during exam season. Supplying healthy meals and snacks for the revision and exam period, and encouraging them to drink lots of water and get enough sleep will all help them feel their best in time for exam day.
Give them a break
Too much pressure and stress can cause a lifetime of anxiety issues for children so it’s important to give them a break both metaphorically and literally. If they’re revising too hard or they’ve got into a rut with a particular subject, get them outside and doing something fun to give their brain a rest. Remember that not all children perform best in a test environment and that academic subjects aren’t for everyone. If your child is really struggling, it’s worth communicating with their school to find out how you can work together to help them find their passion.