Whether you have a super-driven child revising at every opportunity, or a more a laid back kid claiming to have everything under control, there is no doubt that exams are stressful for parents and kids alike. Many children feel they have not had enough time in the classroom and it can be difficult to know how to help them besides encouraging them to take regular breaks and keeping them fed and watered.
If you want to find ways to cope with exam stress, watch our live chat with Dr Geraldine Tan, Director and Principal Psychologist at the Therapy Room. Contact them to book a slot at their practice at the Orchard Shopping Centre and find out about their upcoming mindfulness camps this December
Dr Tan has more than 20 years’ experience as a psychologist and has extensive knowledge of dealing with anxiety and exam stress.
These are the main points of the Facebook Live interview.
A Healthy Approach To Exams
- If we want to motivate children to work hard during exams, then think how you can make revision and exams exciting rather than a chore
- Guide and encourage them with concepts they are struggling with rather than simply pushing them towards higher grades
- If a child has disappointing exam results, steer clear of unhelpful comments like “I told you to sleep earlier” or “You should have worked harder” and don’t ask who got the highest marks. Instead, ask them how they think it went and see if they can identify what was difficult about the exam
Clinical Signs In Children
- If a child is struggling in class, then an intervention my be needed – but steer clear of labelling your child too quickly
- Before visiting a specialist, note down all the signs and symptoms in detail. Testing usually begins around primary school
- If your child is stressed, you may hear them express their frustration by shouting loudly, or eating too much or not enough. Don’t confront your child as they will get defensive. Instead, ask if they’d like to talk to you about how they’re feeling
Exam Tips For Parents And Kids
- Make time to eat together, not at a desk, and cook healthy meals for them or go out to eat a nutritious meal as a family. Drink plenty of water, too
- Encourage your child to have regular small movement breaks with you like a short 15-minute walk in the park
- Make sure your child gets enough sleep so they can focus on revision
- Parents need to take a step back – you are not doing the exams. Be mindful of your tone of voice, too
Watch our live chat with The Therapy Room and find some coping strategies for the exam period!