Am I glad this very stressful season is over for now, this got me thinking, what strategies might help others deal with this situation with their children. Every year in the summer season children in
Am I glad this very stressful season is over for now, this got me thinking, what strategies might help others deal with this situation with their children. Every year in the summer season children in school take some sort of exam or the other. Some children go through it calmly and others stress about it. As a parent some of that stress filters unto you. So how can you help? Is the big question. I have 4 children as I may have mentioned before. Each child has shown me how they carry on in stressful times. Each one deals with it differently. One thing i will suggest is spend time to observe them. Then discuss how you can help them to make this season a bearable one for them.
Before every exam starts, we have a lengthy discussion on how they are feeling about their prep for the exams: how they would like for me to help, study times they think will be beneficial to them towards making good progress in their prep, Also, what chores they would like to be relived of for the season ( because my children have to do chores, discussion for another day) I ask them for their timetables and make copies and I place them on the refrigerator so we are all aware of the days they would be busy with exams .
How can I help?
This is a question I ask my children just before they start an exam. This help could be anything in the form of helping with study; where I help them by coming up with questions from their revision cards and they answer the questions. Not all my children go for this kind of direct help. My daughters love this approach. However, my son much rather study on his own. Before he had his exams, we had a long discussion and discovered he is an auditory learner so he finds it useful reading out load to himself, which means he needs to read in a place that is completely silent, devoid or any other sound apart from his own voice reading out his notes and answers to questions. I had to give him keys to my studio to go study in silence as he found the house a little too noisy to study in during the day. However, in the died of night he is fine to study at home. The key point is to ask them how you can help them.
Reduce the stress for them and allow them chill time:
Many simple tasks that they could have done before this season will become very stressful for them, I know this because I remember having to think of chores and tasks that I had to do to help the family then, that became very stressful when I was younger and preparing for exams. This prompted my decision to relieve my children of the responsibilities of their chores when they are in a major examination. They have always come back and thanked me that this really helped them to stay focused on their studies. Allowing them to own it.
Know their timetables and check with them how they are coping:
I feel its important you pay close attention to what they are doing with regards to the exam, it makes them feel that it is important to you as well as to them and in my opinion it makes them put the right amount of effort into it because of that fact. I think it is important to check on their coping capabilities and watch-out for signs that they are not handling it well. So, motivational talks on how ‘ they have got this’ will be useful to boost confidence. Reminding them that all they need to do is their ‘best’.
Treat them, or promise to treat them after the exams:
Give them something to look forward to, something they really enjoy or have been looking to do. Look to giving that reward to them after the exams; rewards could be an outing or something they would enjoy or it could be something they are involved in directly choosing. Rewards go a long way to encourage excellent effort.
Now, are there other things you do to help your children reduce stress in exam season, please comment in the comment section and share with us. So, we all can learn and use them.