Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 20, Tuesday, May 18, 2010



Exam stress

Like rain and tax, it's the inevitable your child will be faced with a tumultuous amount of stress during exams. While there isn't much you can do to take the stress away from your child completely, here are some quick tips you can follow to at least lower it significantly.

Set goals and motivate. Agree on a revision schedule and keep a copy of it for yourself. In that way, you can see if your child is following the schedule or not and encourage him/her to follow his routine. Treats are essential in order to motivate your child. A promise of an hour of TV after successful revision gives them a purpose for getting their work done.

Feed their minds. This could be your biggest contribution as a parent. However, try to be smart with your food choices. Sugar may boost their energy temporarily but ultimately it increases stress levels. Opt instead for a bowl of nuts and fruits to eat while studying. Make sure they drink plenty of water -- it's good for the brain.

Don't nag. It doesn't help. Because they have enough expectations of their own, your children don't need you to pile yours on their small shoulders as well. Instead, stay calm and be encouraging. Fear and anger can be contagious.

Build their confidence. Your child is fine throughout the year but during exam time, his confidence takes a nosedive. Well, it's your job to help bring it back up. Remind him that he has done well in the past and remind him that 'when there's a will, there's a way.' Encourage them to approach their teachers with problems and offer to test their preparation.

And most importantly…
Keep things in perspective. Remind your child (and perhaps yourself) that doing badly in exams is not the end of the world. Assure him/her that however well or badly s/he does, your love for him does not change. All that you ask of him is that he tries his best.

By Mahareen Khalid


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