HELPING KIDS TO HANDLE EXAM STRESS
As the month of March approaches, parents and children alike dig into books to score those all important marks and ranks. We as parents are stressed about our little ones' performance, but have we been missing something here? Do our children have exam stress way before the actual D-day? Have you noticed behavioral changes in months leading to exam or ones leading to results?
Yes, our children do suffer from various forms of stress and to our misgivings they try to find a way out by digging into games on Mobiles and tablets.
Each child responds differently to exam stress and pressure.
CAUSES OF EXAM STRESS
Most common reasons:
- Pressure by peer/parents/friends/elders for performance.
- Anxiety due to the thought of failure.
- Fear of not succeeding even before trying.
- Feeling unprepared.
- Negative thinking.
- Having unrealistic expectations.
These common reasons of stress lead to behavioral changes that can be linked to following but not limited to these symptoms.
EXAM STRESS SYMPTOMS
Your child may or may not express how stressed they’re feeling. However, as parents, we must find it out. Few of the common signs showing that they may be under stress:
- Putting the blame on others.
- Showing anger or frustration for unnecessary things.
- Difficulty in making decisions.
- Irregular sleeping patterns or habit.
- Sweating due to anxiety.
- Head pain or migraine.
- Minor stomach upsets.
- Teeth grinding and nail-biting.
- Isolate themselves from others.
- Not going out to play.
- Excessive gaming or digital activities.
- Feeling cranky and irritable (increased yelling and crying).
Now comes the most prominent part! How to overcome exam pressure? While steps can be taken to ease their stress for a shorter time, we recommend as a parent to try our life skills cards to prepare them for such life challenges. These are based on WHO recommended Life Skills framework which emphasizes to develop Emotional Skills like Coping with Stress and Managing Emotions.
These skills are inter linked with Effective Communication, Decision making and problem solving too.
Having said that make sure you develop a routine in their early years.
HOW TO DEAL WITH EXAM STRESS
Below are the methods that will help your children in tackling stress due to examination:
- Allow them to take timely breaks while studying.
- Have a daily conversation with your children.
- Help them in making decisions.
- Help them make their own relaxation plans.
- Nurture life skills in them from the early years.
- Listen to their concerns without criticising.
- Ensure they have balanced nutritious meals during exam times.
- Acknowledge and reward them even if it’s a household chore they are doing.
- Have realistic expectations and not burden them our aims and goals.
As a child prepares for examination, as parents its necessary we prepare ourselves for Effective Parenting. Teaching Life Skills go a long way in child's development in a world where in we prepare our child for Life Challenges early.
Life skills are the skills that help your child deal in exam preparations, daily chores and challenges faced during life’s journey. Life skills are beyond academics and are very essential to lead a healthy, happy and prosperous life. We also need life skills to conduct our self cognitively, emotionally and socially in a well-balanced manner.