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9 Ways in Which Parents Can Help Kids to Manage Exam Stress

February 22, 2022
StudySmart Team
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Is your child battling exam stress? Are they facing subtle mood swings, loss of appetite, panic, anxiety, and insomnia? Exams or no exams, no parent wants to see their child go through undue stress.

Yes, exams are tough, and children face the pressure to achieve high scores and set academic records. It is an inevitable part of student life. But is the stress and strain worth it? Isn't there a way to help your child deal with exam-induced panic? Why not? We give you tips to protect and nurture your child's mental health every single day.

A mother and daughter happily express a victory after attending a PSLE learning session.

Prioritising Your Child's Mental Wellness: 9 Things to Do

1. Communicate Constantly

Talk to your child whenever you can. Constant communication is the only way you will know how your child feels about the exams. No matter how important or tough the exam is, spend a few minutes to connect with them verbally and make them feel at ease.

2. Be There

Be there for them, not just physically but emotionally. Minimise your outings, sacrifice your shopping time, and put a hold on your TV shows. That said, it does not mean you have to sit with your child throughout the day. Underline your presence, but also give them their personal space.

3. Speak Right

Use positive words to motivate your child and generously praise them even in their small achievements. Prioritise their hard work and not just their marks, because, at the end of the day, that's all that matters.

4. Be Realistic

Kids often have unrealistic expectations that lead to negative emotions and stress. Moreover, many parents also have high expectations for their children, which is not quite fair. It is important to allow your children to set their own goals, for it is their life. Parents should always be there to guide them, simplify the process, and make children realise the importance of setting realistic goals.

5. Act early

Get into action as soon as you see signs of trouble with your child's mental health. Some signs may be subtle, but it is always safe to start investigating the matter rather than waiting for it to fester and "seem more serious". Look at the issue this way: Would you wait for a mild fever or stomach pain to worsen before taking your kid to the doctor? Certainly not. Mental health issues also need to be dealt with asap.

Would you like to give your child the best chance possible to excel in PSLE exams? There are many ways you can assist them in preparation and revision for their exams when they are ready. StudySmart's online learning platform gives them deep practice across all subject areas. Take a look at our products: PSLE English, PSLE Maths, PSLE Science.

6. Seek Help

There may come a time when your child requires professional help and parental support. Know this: There is nothing wrong with seeking professional help when you feel you do not have things under control. A few counselling sessions may undo the issues you are struggling to handle. Additionally, your child may also open up to a professional and gain clarity on many things.

7. Improve Their Confidence

Encourage your child to take weekly assessments to help identify and improve their academic shortcomings. Very often, these pitfalls are the reasons behind their lack of confidence. You can use tactics such as:

  • Mock tests- To improve their writing speed, time management and memory power.
  • Flash cards- To memorise mathematical formulae, historical dates, scientific terms, etc.
  • Quizzes- To improve their mastery over short answers, fill-in-the-blanks, and one-mark questions.
  • Old question papers- To understand the exam pattern and use the right strategy to complete the paper on time.
  • Tech tools- To optimise and personalise their exam preparation. StudySmart, Singapore, is an effective platform that could lend you a helping hand. To know more about our PSLE app for students, please swing by here.

The better they retain what they learn, the more confidence they gain. Confident children face exams with better clarity instead of giving into the pressure.

8.Prioritise Their Fitness

All study and no play will make your child dull and demotivated. Want to improve their emotional wellbeing and energy levels? Send them out to play their favourite sport and spend all that pent-up energy. Allow them to flex their muscles, breathe in the fresh air, move around, and sweat it out. Such activities will re-energise them and keep them alert during study time.

9. Find Reasons For Anxiety

To help your child beat exam stress, you first need to understand the reasons behind their anxiety. Only then can you implement the right strategies to combat the issues. Some of the most common reasons for exam stress include:

  • Lack of adequate preparation
  • Lack of motivation
  • Unrealistically high expectations from parents and teachers
  • Peer pressure and competition

Also Read : Focus- Why is it Important for PSLE Exams?

Mental Well-Being: What to Avoid Doing

When seeking a solution, it's always a good idea to consider both sides of the issue. There is a long list of things to do as a parent, but there is also a list of things to avoid so that you can find the right balance.

  • Don't add extra pressure during exam time. Avoid using phrases like, "Your future depends on this." Such words will only scare your child a lot more. Instead, encourage them to be positive. Let them know that getting average marks isn't the end of the world.
  • Don't compare your child with others. Unnecessary comparisons could do more harm than you know. It will increase the mental pressure and take a toll on their mental and physical health.
  • Don't overload them with work. Remember that they are just kids, and they also deserve to take a break, go out and play and do whatever it takes to relax. Besides, overloading them with studies won't get you the desired results.
  • Don't be harsh. No child deserves to hear harsh words from parents. Instead of saying, "These marks aren't enough," say ", Well done!" Praise their achievements, no matter how small. Avoid saying anything that will destroy your child's confidence.

The Finale

Nobody knows your child better than you do. So, make your presence known without overwhelming them with your support. Know when to step back and step in. The trick lies in finding that delicate balance. Your child will rest assured when they know you are there to help them through this phase of life!

Would you like to know more about StudySmart? Please get in touch with us right away!

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