5 Tips to Reduce Exam Stress from Your Child
Created by Divya Marwaha Updated on Mar 05, 2020
Examination season is synonymous with stress or pressure, for the students, who are to be assessed in a period of 2-3 hours for all that they have studied throughout the year. And this stress is highly contagious affecting the parents too. Exam stress can take a serious toll, particularly on children, affecting their physical health as well as mental well-being. It can affect their concentration power and learning ability, besides causing an array of health problems, such as insomnia, exam phobia, fatigue, loss of appetite, black-outs, nausea and in some extreme cases, acute depression.
Besides the cut-throat competition, high expectations of parents can also be a major cause of exam-pressure. As parents, it is not possible for us to change this system of performance measurement, but with our unconditional support, love, and care, we can help the child give his best without feeling weighed down.
Simple Activities to Reduce Exam Stress from Your Child
Some simple exam stress buster ideas or tips for the parents to alleviate pressure from your child are discussed as follows:
1. Help the child make a time-table
The best way a parent can de-stress a child is to help him plan and make a time-table, well in advance, allocating adequate time for revision of each chapter/topic according to its difficulty level and length. Parents need to guide their children that difficult chapters need to be covered first so that last moment stress is reduced. Professional guidance by an able tutor for weak areas can be arranged. Due consideration needs to be given to short breaks for meals, exercise, and relaxation. Also, the child will require at least 7-8 hours of sleep to be feel refreshed. Such a target-based approach will not only help the child cover the syllabus in a comprehensive manner, but also keep him cool and de-stressed. Read More: Ways to Deal with Exam time Stress
2. Always Be there for the Child
Parents need to re-schedule their professional commitments prior to the exams, as there is no better way to de-stress the child than giving him company while he is making exam preparations. He may not need assistance all the time, but one can just sit with the child (perhaps, reading a book or working on a laptop), through those long days and laborious nights They should have motivational conversations, whenever they realize that the child is feeling low. Sharing the experiences from our own student-life can be great. And we need to be sure about not pressurizing the child with our high expectations.
Always ensure that guests and younger siblings do not disturb the child. A separate room, which is neat and clutter-free, can also be helpful.
3. Giving him “De-stress” Diet
Exam-stress can trigger hunger pangs in some children, while others may suffer from loss of appetite. Parents need to cater to their needs by offering delicious, yet healthy food. Though one can give them a pizza or burger as a rare treat, it is best to provide healthier options that keep the energy levels high but are not heavy to digest. Some good options are fruit-salad, nuts, milk-shakes and vegetables, as they are packed with nutrients. Heavy and sugary foods should be avoided, as they tend to cause laziness. One may encourage the child to drink plenty of water, as it will keep him hydrated, which is the key to mental alertness. Contrary to popular belief, tea/coffee can be avoided, as it just causes a temporary surge in energy, but results in dehydration and an energy slump in the long run. Some non-messy quick snacks such as a healthy trail-mix can also be kept in air-tight containers n the study table for munching. Read More: How to Manage Pre Exam Stress
4. Exercise Together
Parents can learn certain breathing exercises, meditation or de-stress yoga, and perform these exercises along with the child, whenever he feels stressed during exam preparation. These can also come handy when the child feels stressed while attempting the exam. Simple outdoor exercises, like taking a short walk in the community park, can refresh the child and one has an added bonus of spending time together, offering positive and inspirational talk to the child. You could let the child do something he enjoys, but make sure he adheres to the break-timing and does not waste time.
In case, the child wants to spend his break-time watching T.V. or playing a game on I-pad, once a while, let him do it. Learn to give in, as being a stubborn parent can sometimes, elevate the stress level.
5. Convince for Regular Massage
A massage can be a great stress-relieving technique for the exhausted child, who has spent long hours sitting and studying. It not only alleviates mental stress but also helps the child overcome muscular pain and tension. One can periodically, massage temples, back, and neck of the child using herbal oils like almond or Brahmi that can enhance the effect of massage. A hot bath is also a technique which induces relaxation, as it increases blood circulation and reduces stress symptoms.
All the tips are helpful to provide natural relief from exam-stress. They can be highly effective, but in extreme cases of exam-stress, parents may want to go in for professional counseling to help the child.