Exam stress is quite common in children and the parents must help the children overcome stress and face the examinations with confidence. Parents should give the children space to talk and share their worries. Overstressed children start producing symptoms that are very important to identify, the symptoms of stress in children can be seen in the form of headaches, stomachaches, sleeplessness, irritability, hopelessness, and negativity. A stressed child stops eating or over-eats, firstly it is quite important to have a healthy diet, as the child may feel weak and gets tired easily due to exam stress. Give healthy food and healthy snacks always and avoid junk food which contains high-sugar and high-fat and may make them feel sluggish and sleepy.
Flexibility: The children need flexibility in timing and also in their daily tasks. To complete their studies, children may find it difficult to clean the bed or perform other household activities; give them space only to concentrate on studies during the exams. They may want to adopt changes in their sleep-wake cycle as well like, sleeping early and getting up early to cover the syllabus or may prefer studying late night, etc. Permit them to adjust their biological clock during exams within limits. Children should not be allowed to study compete night before exams and should not be encouraged.
Support: Parents can help their children in many ways like making a study timetable, help them with revisions, providing a comfortable place to sit, motivation and encouragement to achieve the goals. Create a positive environment and don’t scare them with dire consequences about the low marks, as it creates a rift between the parent-child relationships and contributes to stress and anxiety, which in turn results in low marks and failures.
Exercise: Exercise is an excellent stress buster; it increases blood circulation, boosts energy levels and adds freshness. Exercise does not mean that the child has to go to the gym, it can be as simple as dancing, walking or cycling.
After every exam let the children take a small break for relaxing and refreshing to prepare for the next exam. Give them time to perform their favorite activity like playing games or watching TV. Discuss the question paper with your child, stress on the parts which he has done well.
Anxiety and stress are quite normal, parents can be a child’s best stress buster and can help them overcome stress and score well in the exams. Don’t scare your child with negative thoughts. Exam completion should be celebrated and the child should be allowed to release stress by planning an outing or a movie date or anything of the child’s interest. Assure your child that he has given his best shot and will score well. Sarcasm and criticism will only add to the stress and will never help your child in improving the score and performing better.