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6 Ways to Help Your Kids Deal with Exam Stress

by Sarah Kaminski about a year ago in how to
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A certain level of stress is quite normal and only to be expected. However, it can still interfere with your child’s exam results.

Are the memories of your exams still very vivid in your mind, or have they become just another hazy recollection? Either way, when your kids are about to sit their exams, you’re probably aware of the reality of the stress that comes with them.

A certain level of stress is quite normal and only to be expected. However, it can still interfere with your child’s exam results.

Let’s take a look at six ways to help your kids combat exam stress, ensuring their knowledge and abilities truly shine through.

Make Sure They Get Enough Sleep

Even though pulling an all-nighter right before an exam seems like a good idea at the time, it’s actually counterproductive. Your child will be able to perform much better if they get enough sleep as opposed to after staying up all night, trying to memorize new information.

Depending on your child’s age, make sure they go to bed on time before exam day. Also make sure that they have plenty of time to wind down after studying, watching TV, or any other pre-bedtime activity.

Provide Extra Nutrients

A healthy and well-balanced meal becomes even more important in the run-up to an exam. Remember that while high-calorie and high-sugar foods do provide that short burst of added energy, they can make your child hyperactive. And when the effect of the sugar wears off, their energy levels will drop lower than before.

Involve your child in the grocery runs, and ask for their opinion on what they would like for lunch or dinner. Make sure there are plenty of seasonal fruits and veggies on their plate, and focus on “brain food,” like leafy greens, fatty fish, and nuts.

Talk to Them about the Stress

This is especially important if your child is still in primary school. Teens will already have experienced exam stress, so they’ll be more aware of its underlying causes.

You want to identify the cause of the stress. Maybe they are afraid of failure or afraid of what you will say if they don’t get a good grade. Maybe they have low self-esteem or they’re continually comparing themselves to other kids from their class.

Once you discover what is causing the stress, you can work on eliminating it. Explain the way exams work and how they don’t test everything all at once. Talk to them about life after the exam, and show your support and understanding.

Don’t Push Them Too Hard

While you normally expect your child to make their bed, tidy their bedroom, and tackle all of their daily chores, don’t be as strict with them come exam time.

They will need to study more than usual, and they will certainly be more irritable. The last thing they need is to be reminded that they haven’t tidied their room and desk in a couple of days.

Be more understanding during these times, and help your kids out. It will provide the headspace they need to focus and do their very best when they sit their exam.

Ensure They Get Some Exercise

Sitting at a desk trying to cram as much information as possible into their minds will, at one point or another, start to take a toll on your child. To ensure their physical health stays intact and that their mental prowess is at its height, encourage them to exercise every day.

This can be something as simple as a daily walk. Take 30 minutes out of your day to take a stroll with your kids without talking about school or the upcoming exams. It will help clear their head and allow them to return to their studies refreshed.

Treat Them

You don’t have to purchase an expensive gift or throw an elaborate evening. You can make their favorite meal or get them a snack you know they enjoy. Even just watching a movie or playing a game they love will be enough to lift your child’s spirits.

You are essentially trying to fill their study days with joy and help them get through the roughest patch. You know what would put a smile on your child’s face best, so reach for it at this time of stress.

Final Thoughts

Once the exams are over, give your child enough time and space to debrief and destress. They likely won’t be back to their usual self overnight, but a couple of days of relaxation should do the trick.

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Sarah Kaminski

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