Lets face it, exams aren’t normally much fun for anyone and the run up to exams and revision time can be an extremely stressful time for both you and your child.
A whirlwind of unpredictable emotions can be heightened, with anxiety worsening during the struggles and stress of coursework and the looming exams.
We all know that during exam season there is also no escaping revision, which can also put a lot of pressure on family life and it is important to not only recognise their academic studies, but also their emotional well-being
Here we share 5 tips to help support you and boost your child’s health and wellbeing during this time. These are things that can make a real difference.
- Listen to their frustrations and anxieties
It’s very easy to forget how we felt when we were taking exams! Were you a student who studied hard or someone who procrastinated and found lots of other things to avoid revising ? Remember our children are all different too and just because maybe you found it easy to follow a revision timetable, your child may not .
Try to find out and listen to what revision style works for them, and work with them to devise a plan. Remember its their plan not yours. What works for you doesn’t always work for them. Encourage them also to take revision breaks and find a balance between studying and doing things they love doing.
If you do find that there is a lot of friction between you both, try not to carry the arguments all night, its always easier to reassess the next day and revisit working out a manageable plan.
- Help them to relax
Yes it is important to engage with their studies, and encourage them to revise , however it is also essential to make sure the conversation isn’t always about revision. Give them a break from all things exam related and schedule in some family time together alongside making sure they are having down time and doing things they love and spending time with their friends. We all need time to switch off and have me time ! Our teenage chidren are no different.
It is also really useful to work with our teens to develop relaxation techniques…..really helpful for us as parents too !
- Healthier Eating
A healthy diet is so important whilst your child is studying and as a parent supporting our teens to make sure they are eating and drinking at regular intervals is a must. Make sure they are staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water, this will certainly help with preventing headaches. If they like sugary drinks, try to swap these by making fruit smoothies as the natural sugar will give an energy boost.
- Wind down time
What teenager doesn’t love their sleep ! Plenty of restful sleep is essential to help lessen the stress of exams and as a parent its good to encourage relaxation and some time out after a day of revising in preparation for a good nights sleep. This will help them feel more engaged and energetic as well as helping them to retain more information.
Yes we know this isn’t always easy, however encouraging them to put down all technology at least 30 minutes before bed really does help,as sleep patterns can be interfered with when someone is exposed constantly to the blue light emitted from smartphones and tablets. Reading or listening to music is much better to aid restful sleep.
- Exams don’t define you as a person
Yes we can all agree that achieving good academic results can benefit us in the future, giving us more choice and options in careers as well as boosting self confidence. However so many young people feel so much pressure nowadays and the thought of failing exams or not achieving their predicted grades can impact their self esteem. Not everyone of us is good in the exam hall, some of us are much better doing practical tasks and making things. It can be easy to make comparisons to other children or even to our own abilities, however this is never useful. We are all unique and different..
Remember our children’s mental health is just as important as their physical health and that exams are a stepping stone to the next stage of their life, not the end of it. Never forget our children’s mental health is more important than an A * or Grade 9 .
Remain positive and hopeful…..this time doesn’t last for ever !!