Rewind and go back to those days when you were a student –
Remember how you felt when exams were around the corner?
Speak to your parents/ siblings (if possible) – Ask them how they felt when you had exams. It is always good to refresh childhood memories and in all possibility you will get many surprising insights! Our own parents’ insights are probably the best methods to follow while we embark on the parenting journey.
Fast forward to the present:-
Ok, so your child’s examinations are around the corner. While it is the child who actually faces the exams, the atmosphere at home does change when your child has an exam to face is it not? Televisions get some relaxation time, alarm clocks take on a bigger role and parents do try to cut short gadget time (there is no harm trying to, after all!) While examinations do play an important role in the formal education years of children, it is also important to remember that they ONLY serve as a tool in education.
Recent studies show how more and more students suffer from anxiety, depression, fear of failure and other such similar conditions when they are dealing with examinations. Hence, it is extremely important to ensure that children and parents too, are aware of the priorities of life. Every parent has that special quality in them (which is why they are parents!) – they understand their child’s strengths and weaknesses. Hence they can and should play an important role during examination time.
So…what are the ways in which you can help your child breeze through these exam days?
- Firstly, always BE there for your child. Children often feel lonely during examination time. Allow them to understand that you are by their side and that they can count on you for help.
- Parents these days are smart – they know that it is important to let children plan their own study timetables and methods. Let them…but do ensure they share the plan with you…so that you can support them in the process. After all it is important to ask them “How Can I help you?”
- Support them in setting realistic and achievable goals. The goal is to ensure that learning has happened, more than anything else.
- Let your child use methods that he/she is comfortable with. For e.g. Some may be comfortable writing and learning, some may like to make mind maps etc. Whatever works best for them, encourage them to use it.
- Help them understand the importance of practise and revision. The best way you can do this is to involve yourself in this process.
So what are those things that you MUST DEFINITELY DO as a parent during exam time?
- Allow your child to just BE. Remember that a child is just that – a child! Trust them and let them know that you trust them. It is extremely important for their self-esteem that you trust them and know that they can manage their schedules.
- Make it a point to tell your child to take breaks while studying. Plan something exciting for this break. If they want to plan, go along with it. However let it not always be a TV break. Make it an interactive break – one in which you spend time with the child. It could be going on a walk, listening to music, playing with siblings, reading a book or even cooking!
- Children do tend to take stress – teach them simple breathing exercises, meditation or anything else that you think is a stress buster. Encourage them to think positively and visualize success.
- Do keep in mind that physical activity is equally important. It keeps the mind active and improves concentration. Try to avoid cutting down on play time in order to accommodate studies.
- Lastly, dear parents, remember that YOU also need to keep yourselves stress free. Stress that is ‘passed on’ from parent to child is increasingly becoming common.
We hope these simple tips will help you….do share your thoughts with us in the comments section and await our next blog on……’Examination Diet’ where we will write about healthy food and the importance of sufficient hours of sleep during examinations.