Education

5 Best Ways to Help Children Beat Exam Stress

Exams and tests can be a challenging part of school life for children and their parents. If your child has exams coming up, then you should watch out for any signs of stress like worrying a lot, suffering from stomach pains and headaches, feeling tense, poor sleep habits, irritability, a loss of interest in doing things that they enjoy, changes in appetite, low mood, or feeling hopeless. For kids, having somebody that they trust to talk to about their work and how they feel can be helpful during exam season. Getting support from a parent can help young people open up and keep things in perspective.

Practice Tests

Getting your child some practice tests to take at home as part of their homework can be a good way to help alleviate stress since this will help them get a better idea of what to expect and improve their confidence in their abilities. Putting in as much practice as possible before a test using practice questions gives your child to figure out their strengths and weaknesses and work on any areas where it is needed before they take the test for real. Doing well on practice tests gives your child a low-pressure chance to see what they know, and ultimately feel better about the upcoming exam.

Encourage a Healthy Diet

A balanced diet is essential for your child’s health and not eating well can only compound the effects of exam stress. Some parents find that foods that are high in sugar, fat, or caffeine will only make their children more irritable and moodier, or perhaps hyperactive. During exam times, it’s a good idea to make more of a proactive effort to eat healthier as a family. Involve your child in food shopping as much as possible and encourage them to choose healthy foods and snacks for themselves.

Encourage More Sleep

Getting enough sleep at night can help your child perform better in exams by improving concentration and thinking. Along with this, sleep problems and sleep deprivation can only increase the impact of stress and leave your child feeling worse. Most teenagers require between eight and ten hours of sleep per night to function well, so make sure that you encourage this by putting a good bedtime routine in place and encouraging your child to take around half an hour to wind down before bed away from screens. Discourage your child to stay up late studying for an exam; this is unlikely to benefit them in any way.

Be More Flexible

Around exam time, your child might be feeling stressed and worried, so it’s a good idea to be a bit more flexible and forgiving as a parent. Bear in mind that kids haven’t quite developed some of the skills that we have as adults like multitasking or emotional intelligence skills, so it is a good time to go easy on them about things like messy bedrooms or not helping out as much around the house.

Communicate

Staying calm will help your child feel calmer and more confident. Communicate with your child and provide them with a safe person that they can talk about their problems with. Remember that you might not be able to fix this issue but you can help a lot just by listening and being there. Remind your child that it’s normal to feel nervous and anxious before an exam and that they can put these feelings to positive use by practicing and revising.

As a parent, it can be tough to see your child stressing about exams. Although you might feel helpless to do anything about it, simply being supportive, understanding, and helping your child keep up with healthy habits can make a lot of difference.

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