Parenting with Positivism : Issue 7

Exams and assessments are round the corner. One academic session is going to end. It is time for testing and evaluating your child’s achievements of the whole year. A crucial time for you and your kids…. Are you worried?

Exam Fever: Is your little champion stressed out?

People say, “They are essential evils”. They are necessary since till now no other alternative method has been adopted universally and Evils because most people shiver by it’s name. Come EXAMS and many hearts skip a beat, students get anxious and spend sleepless nights. Not only students many adults suffer from exam phobia. They may be excellent at their work but when asked to prove their prowess through an examination, often they falter showing their vulnerability towards exams and exam related stress.

Has your kid ever felt sick in his stomach during a test? Did your kids had days when they were so loaded down with homework that they had trouble sleeping? Have you ever felt that your kids have been so worried about something that they ended up with a terrible headache?

If so, then you should know that your kid is feeling stressed. Understand that they must be worried or uncomfortable about something. This worry may be actually making them get angry, feel scared, frustrated, or afraid and giving them a stomach ache or a head ache. They may not feel like sleeping or eating or might sleep or eat too much. They may also feel cranky or have trouble paying attention at school and remembering things at home.

Why are they tensed or stressed?

Competition has become an inseparable part of our lives and it is the fear of this competition that leaves us feeling unhappy, paranoid and worried. Plenty of things can cause stress in a kid’s life, and there are such things as good stress and bad stress. They may not feel well if their parents/family members are fighting, if a family member is sick, if they’re having problems at school, or if they’re going through anything else that makes them upset every day. A little anxiety or good stress is not a bad thing if it acts as a motivation to prepare properly and to tackle the task with a determined approach.

Tips for overcoming exam fever

Motivate them to talk about their problems and not to bottle them up! Help them understand that talking about their problems is a sign of Strength – not Weakness!!

Prepare a time-table: Allotting specific time slots to specific subjects can make your work easier. Even better, help your kids do it. That way, you’ll be building a stronger connection with them, which is of utmost importance.

Meditate: Meditation is one of the best natural techniques to improve confidence and boost mental health. Regular meditation improves concentration and before you know it, you’ll be less distracted and more focused. Set out 10-15 minutes daily just for meditation.

Exercise: Moderate exercise doesn’t just prevent obesity and other related conditions; it’s good for your mind too. Aerobic exercises or simple jogging can benefit your body in more ways than one.

Practice mock tests: Getting yourself acquainted to what’s coming up is one of the best steps to take to ace that test.

Take a break: Constantly pressuring and overburdening yourself can have a negative and opposite effect on your exam score- if you’re trying to do too many things at a time without a break, you’ll probably not get more than halfway through.

Do remember to take small 10-15 minute breaks in between every study session-play with your pet or just simply walk around the house.

Sleep properly: getting adequate sleep is important, especially during exams, where the entire focus is on your mental faculties. A sleep-deprived body can affect your paper, but you knew that already, didn’t you?

Think positive: Last, but not the least, positive thinking.

Tips for YOU, the parents

  • Support your child during the stress of revision and exams by making home life as calm and pleasant as possible.
  • Don’t let your stress become their stress.
  • Make other members of the household aware that your child may be under pressure and that allowances should be made for this.
  • If your child is given study leave in the run-up to exams, try to be at home as much as possible so that you can share a break and a chat together.
  • Make sure there are plenty of healthy snacks in the fridge and try to provide good, nutritious food at regular intervals.
  • Encourage your child to join family meals, even if it’s a busy revision day – it’s important to have a change of scene and get away from the books and computer for a while.
  • Also encourage your child to take regular exercise. A brisk walk around the block can help clear the mind before the next revision session
  • Assist your child with revision
    • work out a revision timetable for each subject
    • break revision time into small chunks – hour-long sessions with short breaks at the end of each session often work well make sure your child has all the essential books and materials
    • condense notes onto postcards to act as revision prompts
    • buy new stationery, highlighters and pens to make revision more interesting
    • go through school notes with your child or listen while they revise a topic
    • time your child’s attempts at practice papers
  • Help them prioritize their work
  • Make them aware the need of avoiding caffeine
  • Motivate them to avoid cramming the night before an exam and make sure they get a good night sleep and wake up earlier if they want to read over their notes rather than staying up late.
  • Make sure that they give themself time each day to relax, taking breaks to do something you enjoy – watch TV, listen to music, read a book or go out for a walk.
  • Ensure that they get plenty of sleep

Is your child sleep deprived?

Signs of sleep deprivation in kids include many of the same signs we see in adults. For instance, kids may

  • be harder to awaken in the morning
  • show greater difficulty concentrating
  • fall asleep spontaneously during the day (inadvertent napping)
  • “sleep in” on weekends (which suggest that they are making up for sleep lost during the school week)

For this reason, it makes sense to examine your child’s sleep schedule–even if he doesn’t show obvious signs of sleep deprivation. Good sleep practices will help ensure that your child gets the sleep he needs. These practices include

  • Waking up at the same time each morning
  • Avoiding artificial lighting before bedtime
  • Avoiding stimulating activities—including TV and video games—before bedtime
  • Going to bed “early” if your child feels sleepy

Dear Parents/Teachers please write in anecdotes:
Sleep deprivation during exams: myth or reality? Over-rated or necessity?