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The phase before the exams can be very stressful for the students. In fact for parents also exam of the child is a taxing time. With changing questions patterns and a more extensive syllabus, students get bewildered during this time and give in to various shades of despair. However, hanadling the situation calmly will help to ease the stress levels of your child as well as your home. Read on to understand how parents can help their children cope better with stress during exams.


Be there to help them

Some parents are capable of solving doubts and difficulties of their children and this needs to be more before their exams. Be there for them and try to solve their queries well. If you are not able to owing to the level of difficulty, then please guide them about how they can solve the doubts. Speaking to the teacher or finding out from good educational websites might work. In subjects like Maths, be with them and ensure they are practising enough.


Keep them positive 

Your child may cave in to pressure and become negative in the days preceding the exams. It is for you to boost him or her and keep the atmosphere of the home as positive as possible. Do not give vent to negative remarks like ‘remember your previous grades?’ or ‘you will surely fail this time’. However, do not make the child overconfident. Ensure that your child has started preparing well in advance and is spending enough time in studying. Exempt meal times from discussion about studies.


The right nutrition matters

Some children lose their appetite during exams. They are not aware of what or how much they eat. As a parent you need to ensure that they are eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Also remind them about drinking plenty of water to keep them hydrated. It is ok to give them comfort food once in a while too, like cakes, ice creams and pizza. If they are studying until late in the night, then give them nuts like almonds as snacks along with hot chocolate drink to keep them awake and energised.


Do not give vent to anger

If you are frustrated with your child’s inability to grasp concepts or solve questions then do not shout at him or her. Be as calm as possible. You should not add to the exam stress. Deal with the situation as amicably as possible and add doses of laughter and humour.


Stress management techniques

A couple of stress management techniques that really help are music and exercise. You can encourage your child to go out in the open for a stroll. This will clear his or her mind and provide a refreshing break. Soft music tones accompanied with meditation has also proved to be effective. Ask your child to take breaks in between study periods.


Keep family problems at bay

Do not discuss family problems in your child’s hearing now and if possible, never. Unknowingly you may be adding to his or her stress levels. In fact agree not to disagree with your spouse or other family members during this time as even a normal argument can be distracting. Keep a happy environment in your home.


On the day of exams

Begin the day in a calm way by wishing your child well. Give your child a good send off and make him or her feel confident. After he or she comes home, try not to ask too many questions. In fact reviewing the question paper can be done when all the papers are over. If you find mistakes in your child’s answers this may affect the next examination as your child may be depressed about performance in the previous paper. Motivate your child as much as you can but do not pressurise.


After the exams

Now it is time to celebrate! Go out after the exams, if possible for a vacation and have fun together. If time is a problem then go out for dinner and a movie. This will help to release exam stress and bring back the fun element.


After the results

If children perform very well then congratulate them whole heartedly for their efforts. However, take care that you don’t make them too proud of their marks. If the performance has been mediocre then encourage him or her to try harder next time. Work together on skills that could improve the results of the next examination. If the results are below average then do not rave or rant at your child. Instead sit together and work upon the possible causes of him or her not being able to perform well.


Bear in mind that all children cannot be academically excellent and while we as parents would expect the best outcome from our child, he or she has his limitations, same as we do.

Be a supportive parent and watch your child excel!

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