One of the defining responsibilities of parents is to enable their children to realise their potential. Both the students and their families are inordinately anxious in the days leading up to examinations. Parents are concerned about their children’s academic achievement, the amount of time they spend studying, and the degree to which success or failure may influence their children’s future. In fact, parents frequently experience the same, if not higher, levels of tension and worry as their children during examinations!
A parent should ideally serve as a facilitator for their kids throughout tests, inspiring and helping them release tension when needed. Because they have more one-on-one time with their children, parents play the most important role in assisting children in dealing with examination stress.
The following are some methods that parents may adopt to get constructively involved in their child’s academic life and help them prepare for tests better:
Positively motivate the kids: Although well-timed motivation and encouragement to perform well in the exam is beneficial, pressuring the youngster to study “more” or “better” is counterproductive. Exam anxiety is exacerbated by undue parental pressure. Parents who wish to help reduce test anxiety should understand how to motivate them appropriately.
Avoid additional mental strain. Pressuring your children to achieve exceptional grades all the time may cause emotional pain. Maintain a cool and controlled demeanour as a parent and emphasise the importance of studying for them to attain their future objectives. If they are unable to concentrate and study, gently inquire as to why they are unable to do so and assist them in overcoming distractions and developing concentration skills.
Give your children ample attention. Children, in many circumstances, do not communicate their worries to others and keep them to themselves. Hence, recognise the symptoms of discomfort and spend extra time with them to get a better understanding of their present state of mind. Assure them that they are consistently supported and motivated, making them feel valued and appreciated.
Assist in developing efficient exam strategies: help children develop a plan to finish their syllabus. If one approach does not seem to be working, try another. Do not force the kids to follow an unfavourable or unduly taxing regimen.
Help children maintain a healthy daily routine. Ensure that your child maintains a healthy balance between his schooling and his recreational activities. This will help them get enough rest before they begin studying for their next exam. Encourage them to avoid late-night study sessions, but if they believe that’s when they’ll learn the most, go ahead and let them.
Distractions should be identified and managed: every student is distracted in some manner; all you have to do is figure out what is interfering with your child’s education and solve it effectively. Rather than completely removing something your child likes.
Pay attention post-exams: Listen to your child’s work and let them discuss it without passing any judgments. Avoid being pedantic in pointing out errors. This is the time when your child needs someone to talk to about his or her thoughts, concerns, and anxieties.
Ensure that your child maintains contact with his or her peers and relatives. Give space to your child if you think he or she shouldn’t be bothered. To some extent, this is true, but it is also critical for kids to interact with their peers and other people to keep their spirits up. Social isolation can be detrimental to children.
As a parent, it is crucial to help children build a foundation of self-motivation and self-reliance so that they can withstand greater challenges at different stages of life.
By Dr. Sridhar G