How To Help Your Exam Student Ahead Of A Stressful Time
Exam time is near, and the youngsters are incredibly stressed and rightly so - these exams are a big deal to them. It doesn’t matter how much you try to calm your child down, unless they are as cool as a cucumber normally, they are going to be a little highly strung until after the exams.
The good news is that there isn’t long to go. Although that may pose more issues for young students if they feel they aren’t ready...
One of the biggest things you can do (as a parent to an exam student) is to be there to support and help them along the way.
Here we go through a few things you can do to help your child before and during their exams:
Encourage and support – Your child will naturally be negative about the exams and consider themselves to be unable to face the challenge ahead, but you can help build their confidence by encouraging them. It is simple to do by talking about their biggest fears and help them problem solve. Stop your child berating themselves for not being more intelligent or studious and instead, offer them help whether it is getting them grinds, giving them a better study area or by offering them advice and reminding them of where their strengths lie.
Be there to get them what they need – Your teenager is going to be spending a lot of time studying and doing homework so try and be as available to them as you can when they need it. Keep track of their studying times and know when it is an ideal time for a break. Grab food for home that you know your teen loves so they can have a moment of foodie delight! Buy them a voucher for something they like to do and encourage them to take a break and use their voucher. Even if it is just dinner with their pals, they need to get some rest and fun time too.
Fuel their brains – Without a doubt, eating well is vitally important for teenagers never mind ones who are undergoing extra stress and exams. Ensure your teenager is eating three healthy meals a day and is having plenty of healthy snacks too. It is fine to have treats too and a bar of chocolate or ice-cream is one of life’s little pleasures and your exam student deserves it. If they aren’t great eaters consider nutrient supplements and failing that, smoothies are a good way to pack in goodness without being off-putting to picky teenagers.
Get the out for breaks – Too much studying and too much looking at four walls is not healthy and as mentioned above, encourage your teen to see pals and have fun too. Keep note of their study times and invest in a whiteboard so you can track their times. Once they have sat for four hours of study it is time for a break. Drag your teenager out for a quick walk or drop them to their friend’s house for a few hours.
Be prepared on exam day – Be prepared for a moody teenager and don’t react to moodiness - it isn’t about you. Provide a healthy breakfast and give them a packed lunch or money to get what they need. Keep the house as calm as possible and be encouraging and supportive. Ask your child if they need anything and if you have other kids remind them to be supportive for the exam weeks. Make sure your teenager is getting enough sleep and it is a good idea to remove their phone from their bedroom to give them little distractions. Wish them well and off they go!
Good luck to you and your exam student!
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25.