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From a young age, children are encouraged to think that exams are supremely important and off-late, these exams are becoming quite competitive. In such a situation, when exam stress becomes too much, children tend to crumble. There are cases when children have attempted and even succeeded at suicide because their exam related stress went unnoticed. However, with the help of some counselling and parental role in handling stress, children can certainly be helped.
Since parents have a greater one-on-one opportunity with children, they will be able to deal with exam stress better. They can help children handle exam stress at home and make sure that they don’t crumble under the pressure. What are the different things that parents can do to make things better for their children?
1. Help them study: Parents could either help children study actively, by actually helping them with their work, or they could just provide them with a conducive and calm environment.
2. Take efforts into making things easier for them: Exam time and test time can put a lot of pressure on the children. At this point of time, make sure that you don’t give the children a lot of chores around the house. Try as much as you can to not be cross with them at this point of time as well, so as to not increase the negativity that the child might be feeling about him/herself..
3. Help them plan their studies: If you don’t think you are good at this, ask the child to talk to a teacher about coming up with a plan for study that would include some amount of rest time as well. You could also do all you can to make sure that the children stick to this exam preparation schedule as well.
4. Make sure they don’t overdo it: When a child is feeling stressed out about the exams, they will start overdoing it. They might start studying more than it is good for them. Make sure that your child does study, but not at the cost of giving up on going out, having a leisurely workout or reading time or TV watching time.
5. Make sure they get fresh air: Fresh air and sunlight can do a lot to help children handle exam stress. Both these elements have a feel- good air to them and they can provide your children with a better and sweeter aura.
6. Make sure they get enough activity: When a person sits around and kind of passively works for a long time, the body might start becoming quite lethargic. Lethargy is not good for the body at all points of time, because it can also promote negative emotions among people. Hence, parents have to do all they can to make sure that their child gets enough workout or any active activity. When a person exercises their body, a hormone called endorphin is released. Endorphins are feeling good hormones, so they would certainly help the children deal with exam stress.
7. Get them the right food: At this point of time, the exam stress might be so high that the children would be opting to give up on meals just to get some more time to study. This would just harm their chances of studying well and it would also be harming their chances of dealing with the exam stress. Parents have to make sure that the children get a well-rounded and balanced meal at least three times a day, so that they have enough strength and stamina to study.
8. Encourage the children positively: While some amount of encouragement to do good in the exam is positive, it will not do to try forcing the child into studying more or better. In fact, negative pressure from parents does not help deal with exam stress, it adds to it. Parents who want to help children handle exam stress need to learn how to encourage them right. Just gentle, not overt support would be good.
Counselling help for exam stress
Sometimes, the exam stress is quite high and it cannot be dealt with only by the parents. This, of course, is because of the fact that the children might have been undergoing exam stress for a long time and just hiding the signs of exam stress from their parents. Sometimes, the pressure might be too hard to handle for the parents itself. In such a situation, there is no other option but to go for some counselling or therapy.
This counselling can usually be availed from the school itself (this is the best way to go, for the counselor would know about the student’s role in the school itself). Parents just have to make sure that they don’t let the child sit through counselling all by him/herself and actively participate in the counselling sessions.
These counselling sessions can help people find out what is good or what is bad when it comes to dealing with exam stress. It can also unearth the root of exam related fear in the children’s mind and the counselor will be able to develop a scientific way of dealing with exam tensions, so that it is cut of as soon as it can.
With a combination of parental role in handling stress and some counselling (in case it gets really bad), it would be possible for any student to beat the exam stress and do better than they did before.