This is a collaborative post.
Exam stress is one of the hardest things a child will face during their academic journey. Many of us look back at school and remember happy carefree days but for children nowadays, the story is completely different to how it was then. Children are more pressured when it comes to their studies with an intense approach to learning.
With the recent pandemic, school alone can bring a lot of anxiety to students especially when it comes to exams. It is important to help your child deal with the stress as best as possible to ensure they make the most out of the time they have to learn. Below is a guide on how to help your child through these difficult times.
It can be difficult to know if your child is dealing with exam stress as not all children are vocal about how they feel. Some of the signs to look out for are:
- Mood changes. They may seem angrier or more sensitive than usual.
- Spending a lot of time on homework and revision or avoiding it altogether.
- Avoiding school.
- Being reluctant to talk about school or exams.
- Changes in eating and sleeping habits.
- Low self-esteem.
Once you have identified any changes and signs of stress in your child, you can proceed to figure out what to do to make this time easier for them.
How to help
Start by talking to your child. Ask them to be open about what they’re truly worried about. Usually, their answer will be vague as the entire feeling of studying for exams can become overwhelming. Help them break down their feelings and figure out what exactly is causing the stress.
Talk to the teacher. Parents don’t see how their children behave in class which is why it is ideal to talk to a teacher to get their perspective.
Find out how much work your child should be doing outside of school and ask the teacher to help create a realistic plan to complete it. If teachers are unaware of your child’s struggles, you must let them know.
Create the right space to learn in. If your child is struggling to study and retain information, it could be due to too many distractions in their study space.
Keep the area free of tablets, phones and TVs. Some children like to study in silence whereas others prefer to have music playing in the background.
Remember to remind your child that the feeling of stress is temporary. All they need to focus on is doing their very best and nothing more. Stay supportive!