5 Tips To Tackle Exam Stress!
Exam time is a stressful time for parents and children alike, no matter what age or class they are in. Ensuring your child excels in his or her exams can be a huge challenge for both Moms and Dads, and can be a source of tension around the house.
So we asked our Pod parents for a few tips and trips that they follow at home to help ease the pressure and here is a consolidated list of the most popular suggestions.
1. FREE PLAYTIME: That’s right, you read that correctly! All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! And this holds true for children as well. Forcing them to hit the books through the day can have an adverse effect. Having intermittent playtime in between study sessions is imperative to ensure they remain stimulated, enjoy the break, and come back refreshed. So do keep time aside to just run around the park, or call friends over for a playdate, or – YES, even just a short amount of monitored screen time!
2. NEVER COMPARE: As parents, we often feel that our children’s friends are the easiest reference point to benchmark success. It’s important to realise that no two children are the same. At PodSquad, we believe in Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence, which states that though we are all born with nine innate intelligences, we all excel in different areas, and struggle in others. So comparing your child to a classmate when both abilities are different will not push them to do better, but only make them feel like they are letting you down. So stay away from using friends to compare abilities, skills and marks.
3. POSITIVE RE-INFORCEMENTS: Most children associate studying for exams with negative emotions such as boredom, tedium, keeping them from playtime, solitude etc. So why not introduce a few positive elements into this difficult time. Make your child’s favorite dish to eat, gift them a fun and fancy pen that they can use for the exam, keep the mood light by cracking fun jokes during mealtime. Even small pleasures like allowing them an extra chocolate when they complete their work on time, or calling their friend over after studying as part of free playtime will positively re-inforce good behavior and give them something to look forward to thereby making studying much more bearable!
4. UNSOLICITED ADVICE: Advice is free. Which means as parents we will get A LOT of it from friends, grandparents, neighbors, teachers and sometimes even random strangers! Too much advice will only increase your anxiety.
“Play classical music, and your child will concentrate better.”
“Feed your child lots of dry fruits and he or she is sure to top his class!”
“Don’t have any distractions around, lock up all the toys and electronic devices and even you shouldn’t watch any TV.”
Just a few examples of the type of advice that is freely doled out. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. It’s important to know how to filter these suggestions to do ONLY what works best for YOU and YOUR CHILD, and you are the best judge of that.
5. BE CREATIVE: Every child learns differently. Some respond to visual stimulation, some to auditory, and some even respond best when they simply observe and watch. If your child is struggling with a certain topic or subject, think creatively on how to best communicate the learning. Sometimes, making simple games like Q&A, Multiple Choice Questions, or creating simple learning supplements like flash cards or picture cards can dramatically help the child absorb the content. Learning is meant to be fun, and today there are so many aids available. By doing a little research, perhaps online or by speaking to people, you might find some out-of-the-box ideas to get your child through those difficult patches.
Whew! At the end of this 5-step guide to help ease exam stress, some parents may still find that this to be a trying period. The good news is that exams are temporary! And at the end of that last exam, there are the carefree summer holidays to look forward to. Remember, most importantly you are not alone. ALL PARENTS go through this together, and sometimes reaching out to others for support and guidance can be the best way to ease the stress.
So good luck to all the parents out there for this year’s upcoming exam season from all of us at PodSquad!