Parenting Education and Learning Child Psychology and Behaviour

How To Mentally Prepare Your Child For First Time Board Exams

Swapna Nair
11 to 16 years

Created by Swapna Nair
Updated on Feb 23, 2018

How To Mentally Prepare Your Child For First Time Board Exams

Board Exams! And the first one!! I can imagine the tension at home. Children are stressed but parents are more stressed! Here are some pointers for parents to help prepare your child for the upcoming exam. The study holidays are almost over and time is ticking.

One Week before:-

  1. Pack up-

    • One week before the exam help your child pack the bag for the big day. Pack 3- 4 blue ink pens/gel pens. Ensure that all of them write well. So parents can test the pens for a couple of days to get them flow smoothly. Pack 2 sharpened pencils, 2 erasers that would erase ink, a short scale and a long scale (wood/metal). This set of stationery should be kept separately in the bag they would carry during the exam
    • Take photocopies of the exam hall ticket or ID if any. Place one copy in the bag. Keep one copy with you in your purse
    • Check if the water bottle is leak-proof
    • Uniform sets to be cleaned and ironed
    • Shoes to be cleaned/polished for ready use
  2. Get Familiar with the Venue-

    • If the exam centre is different from the school where your children are studying, then it is best to visit the venue once before the actual day. This will help in knowing the route, understanding the traffic and planning for the actual day
  3. Dropping /Picking up from the venue-

    • However busy your schedule maybe, it is always reassuring if one of the parent can drop and pick up your child
    • You can make your journey to the centre very relaxing. If your child loves music, put on the radio in the car. Avoid asking questions on the subject
    • You have to be relaxed so that your child also is relaxed. So drive slow and carefully. If your child prefers silence allow him/her to remain so. Occasionally hold their hand/ squeeze their hand in a reassuring manner
    • Applaud the hard work they have put in
    • If they are tensed, divert their mind by discussing other topics
    • Just before dropping them motivate them to give their best, write neatly, attempt all questions however little they know and revise before submitting the paper
    • Ensure that they have their stationery, hall ticket/admit card/id before you leave the venue
    • Your teenager will not want to be hugged or kissed/patted in public so this nurturing has to be done at home before you leave
    • When picking up your child carry some snacks/ fresh juice as they would be inevitably hungry
    • Understand from their expression and posture if the exam has gone well or not so good
    • If they wish to discuss, let them. If they do not wish to discuss please respect their feelings. Allow them to vent out their feelings. Just listen to them. Please don’t give any suggestion/ opinion at that point of time. Wait till you reach home, let them relax for a while and if they wish to talk then go ahead. If not leave the past and get on with the next exam
    • Please avoid discussing a bad paper. This is very demotivating. If the child is upset because he/she has left a question could not attempt some questions, could not complete the paper, and reassure them sincerely that it is OK. IT IS OK. Help them to move on to the next subject
  4. Comparison-

    • The best way to reassure your child that you understand the, that you accept them as they are is by not comparing them or their methods to other children
    • During the revision holidays or during the exam time we should not compare them with any one- be it sibling, classmate, cousin etc.
    • Please avoid asking how their friends have done especially if they have not done as expected
  5. Food and Meal time-

    • Cook their favourite meals during this period. I know a friend who used to make gobi parathas for her daughter as her girl loved them. Little treats like their favourite snack can help a long way
    • One friend of mine ensured that the whole family had their meals together during the exam period. The father would arrive early, the siblings would wait 30 minute longer so that meal times were fun and together. Such togetherness is very essential for parents and children. Please have home food preferably during this period. Please don’t discuss the exam paper at the dinner table
  6. Noise-

    • During the exams lower the TV volume if you wish to watch
    • If you have smaller or bigger children then ensure that they understand their sibling’s need and right to peaceful surrounding
  7. Sleep pattern-

    • It is very very important that children get 7-8 hours sleep during this period. Be very firm about setting rules to sleep
    • If your child is too stressed, take them out for a short walk, or go to the terrace for 10 minutes. Have them take a warm shower. Give a glass of warm milk. And ensure that they lie down. Be around for a while and have a relaxed conversation
    • Deep breathing together will help both parent and child especially when you do it together
  8. Last minute tips-

    • Presentation is important. Write answers in points if possible
    • Draw a line after every answer. This can be done after completing the exam
    • Follow the order of questions. Number the questions correctly. In case they don’t know an answer, they can leave space and come back to it
    • Attempt all questions- if they are confused about an answer write at least one point associated with it or whatever points they know related to the question
  9. Constant encouragement-

    • You love your child so go ahead and display your love. Show them you care about them through your action and words. It is after all an exam. Reassure them that even they do not do well, it is ok. This is not the end of the world

Good luck. Take care!

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