Here we are again, at the familiar yearly crossroad. One with us and our children, and one with stress. We meet yet again. For quite a few of us, it’s not just exam time, but “board” exam time. And how that one word can double the anxiety has always been a mystery. While exam stress in inevitable, it’s important to try and keep it at a bare minimum. Not only will that ensure a happy mood at home, it would actually help students perform better. An anxious mind can never perform as well as a calm one.
So what do we do to monitor stress levels? Do we ask them to study lesser? Do we ask them to study more so they are better prepared? Maybe the solution isn’t anything to do with studying. Moreover, most of the “studying” bit is completed by now. It’s crucial to look into other aspects now.
Let’s begin with adequate rest and eating. This is a stressful time for most students and the stress could take a toll on their health. It’s better to prevent that from happening by ensuring children eat all meals well and get a goodnight’s sleep. As basic as it may sound, it’s probably the key to a fresh mind that’s more likely to remember all that’s learnt .If the study hours are fixed, make sure there is little time left for leisure too. One little break can help cut off monotony and help children keep away frustration.
Maintaining a happy, cheerful environment at home is absolutely essential at a time like this. Books give children enough and more negativity during exams and a positive atmosphere at home can help balance the mood for them.
Furthermore, it’s advisable to have a chat with your children before the exams begin to assure them that exams are important, but it’s certainly not the end of the world. While saying that to them is important, it’s more important that you believe in that too. Communicate the importance of studying and being successful; but at the same time, establish trust that they will be loved and respected regardless of their results.
This could help in maintaining exam stress as just regular exam stress, without it transforming into fear and anxiety.
Encourage meditation of any form for few minutes in the day. You could also practice meditation with them to keep them motivated and it could act as your time spent with them during a stressful phase.
During exams, it’s only fair to restrain from comparing your child with other children or from talking about expectations form these exams. The fact remains that most of the studying has been done and such talks could only intimidate the children, thereby making them anxious again.
Having said that, of course revision is crucial and children must be encouraged to do so. Analyzing past papers, revising all topics and making to-do lists in a day could help them organize their studying. Organized studying usually leads to organized thoughts; hence helping them stays calm.
Lastly, we all must remember that exams come and go every year, millions of people across the world write them, we have all written them; it’s a routine process that of course should be given importance, but only to a certain extent. Majority of the exam stress is caused by the hype around the topic, not as much by the studying.
How you react to exams and exam related stress is exactly what will reflect from your child. So, before trying to correct their actions and help them, let’s ensure we aren’t giving the wrong signals.
Here’s to another year of the dreaded exams with the hope that with each passing year, the anxiety levels are only decreasing.