With exam season upon us it can be a stressful time for everyone in the family.
Getting your child to revise may be a struggle or perhaps they are refusing to even sit the exams. It’s understandable that you will want them to do their best.
However, if you’re worried about your child ’s exams, imagine how overwhelming it might be for them.
Preparing for and sitting exams can be a pressured time, as well as the countdown to the results which can be equally as stressful.
As a parent you can really help your children through this time, just by being there for them and encouraging them to talk about their feelings and fears.
Here are just a few ideas to make exam time a bit more bearable:
- Make sure they have a comfortable place to work. If this isn’t possible make it easy for them to go elsewhere – to their grandparents or the library, for example.
- Establish a revision routine that suits them. This may mean rearranging the family’s schedules and priorities. Remember to include breaks.
- Accept that some people can revise better with music or the TV on in the background – we are all different.
- Try to avoid nagging as it can help them lose focus and increase stress levels or moodiness.
- Remind them it is never too late to study, revise or ask for help.
- Schedule small and frequent rewards for the effort they are putting in – this keeps it positive. A larger reward of a day out may give them something to look forward to and a much-needed break.
- Be calm, positive and reassuring and put the whole thing into perspective – if you ’re stressed they will be too.
Preparing for an exam
Make sure you have a clear exam timetable visible with times/locations.
Encourage them to get all their pens, pencils and equipment ready the evening before.
Try to get them to go to bed early so they are able to have a restful sleep and encourage them to eat before an exam to maintain concentration.
Give your child lots of encouragement, let them know how proud you are of them, regardless of how they do, so they feel positive before they leave.
After the exam
After each exam, allow them the opportunity to talk about how they have done and allow them to do the talking while you listen. Encourage them not to dwell on mistakes they may have felt they have made.
When the exams are all over, plan an event to mark the results, whatever they are and have some fun with your child.
Make it clear that you love and value your child for who they are, and not for what happened in an exam.