Exam time is, indeed, a stressful period in a child’s life. With pressures mounting with each generation, about getting admissions into a prestigious college or getting a seat in the degree which the child wants to pursue, children undergo immense tension and stress. Apart from physical health issues, children are psychologically affected and even go into depression. As parents, you must ensure your child has a stress-free student life.
Here are a few tips:
- Help your child with planning: Exam preparation requires a lot of planning; right from preparing a revision timetable to procuring all the requirements for the exam, like stationery, old exam paper models, etc. Help your child with breaking revision time, for each subject, into hour-long sessions with short breaks in between. This often helps your child to reflect on what he/she has studied. Help condense notes into small chits or postcards. Time your child as he/she attempts practice test papers.
- Make home ambience pleasant and easy-going: It helps, if everyone in the household is aware of the child’s exams. If the child is home for study leave, make sure you are at home, whenever you can be, so that you are available for a small chat during the study breaks. Make sure the fridge is stocked up with nutritional food/snacks; it is important the child is well nourished especially during exams. Encourage children to go for a walk, a little exercise and fresh air will help clear their mind and improve concentration for subsequent study. Avoid nagging them about their studies or their performance; arguments during such times are only counter-productive.You must emphasise on a good night’s sleep and discourage late-night cramming. Good, heavy breakfast on the exam day is also important.
- Positive reinforcements or bribe?: Stay clear from monetary reinforcement; it will undermine the value of hard work. Children must realise they are studying for a good and bright future. At the same time, they must understand exams are not the be all and end all of life, but just a stepping stone to the next level-like college admissions or the next grade in school. But small treats to celebrate their hard work, on the last day of exams, will keep them motivated and make them proud of their efforts.
Exams are important and build a strong foundation in a student’s life. A foundation, not just for academic or career growth, but for personal growth too. Life is hard and one has many battles to fight, some which one wins, some which one loses. But perseverance and strong determination will make this roller-coaster ride a smooth one. Exams prepare children for this roller coaster, exams prepare children for life. As parents, all we can do is make them believe they will have a smooth ride!