Parents, it’s stressful we know. Exams can cause so much anxiety and stress at home, in some cases turn the house into more of a war zone then a place of retreat and relaxation.
There are three core areas I invite you to focus on to ensure you can get your home ready for exams:
Area 1: Mindset
It’s not the end of the world: begin to create this mindset in your child by following three simple steps. Pupils often feel that the exams, should they fail, will result in it being the end of the world.
A combination of self pressure, peer pressure and all round teacher pressure contributes to this feeling, let alone having to recall years and years worth of study. The better they feel at home, the better they will perform in school and on the day of the exams.
Step A: Increase praise and encouragement (even if you don’t feel like doing so or if it is justified).
Step B: Buy them a mid-exam gift just to show them that you love them and care for them.
Step C: Conceal your worries and anxieties, they don’t need this right now.
Pupils often feel that failing their exams will result in the end of the world.
The better your child feels during the weeks of exams, the better they will perform. Your entire goal is to make them feel supported, good about themselves and relaxed. Simple as it may sound, the three steps above will send an army of subconscious messages to your child, reassuring them and confirming the following to them:
Area 2: Environment – Sleep
Sleep, learning and memory are complex occurring processes that even to this day are not entirely understood with total clarity and distinction. However, studies suggest that the quantity and quality of sleep have great impact on learning and memory.
Exams are all about recalling what you have spent years learning, therefore ignoring the importance of creating the right environment for bed time at home during your child’s exam period is not only unwise but potentially dangerous.
Research has indicated that sleep helps learning and memory in two ways.
First, a sleep-deprived student cannot focus attention for sustained periods of time and therefore cannot recall to their maximum capability and ability. Second, sleep itself has a role in the consolidation of memory, which is essential for learning new information.
One of our Performance Learning modules is focused on Sleep & Well-being and while science yet may not have proven sleep plays a critical fact in a child’s recall capability, take my word for it, it does and does so greatly. Most teenagers we see, and we see thousands, are suffering from lack of sleep or poor quality sleep and their school work let alone exam results become affected.
Studies suggest that the quantity and quality of sleep have great impact on learning and memory.
Follow these three simple steps to ensure your home is sleep ready:
Area 3: Culture
A combination of instilling the right mind-set, not by discussion or conversation, but by subtle action along with creating an environment at home of healthy eating, focusing on sleep and allowing the child who’s sitting the exam to take more control will help create a culture of the following, important virtues:
- Support and care
- Rest and reflection
- Control and focus
- Positivity and calm
Anything other than the above can (however unintentionally) contribute to your child’s anxiety and stress.