Early preparation is a habit that should be adapted in the child through their home environment. The child should have a study area with no distractions or clutter; one that encourages learning. The child should also be given the skill of organizing the study notes and books with easy access and to develop a time table that both the parent and student can monitor. Last minute cramming should always be discouraged by parents to their children as it doesn't help with long term memory retention while it also increases the affinity towards anxiety. Taking spaced out time slots for revision will help reduce this issue.
If the child is finding it difficult with any area, be cautious look out for warning signs and take the required action straight away. Be straightforward about what needs attention. As parents we should look to see how our children are responding to, and managing, their stress levels. If there are any notable changes in how they behave, make it a point to have a chat with them and ask them how you can help. This simple act will mean a lot to your child, as they will feel heard and supported.
Identify the child's learning style to gain the best outcome of the effort he or she puts into their studies. Start summarizing the work done in class daily. Reviewing daily lessons is a successful way of retaining.
The stress levels parents develop due to their child's exam could also contribute to higher stress levels in the child. It is recommended to go for a walk or indulge in any activity that reduces nervous tension and distracts the mind, if unnecessary stress is felt by the parents.
It is vital to make a conscious effort to remain calm and relaxed when talking with your child. Children easily sense stress in their parents, and they do not need this extra weight on them during exam times. The best way to help your child during exams is to provide him/her with a calm home environment. Try not to nag or make too many demands on your child. Arguments are counterproductive and will only add unnecessary pressure and distraction to the child.
Do not damage your relationship with your child by overreacting during revision time. Get help if you believe that it will help safeguard the bond you have with your child while ensuring that their exam preparation is done effectively.
It is also important to maintain the child's physical efficiency at all times which includes regular nutritious meals, sleep, regular exercise, rest & relaxation. Leisure time or alone time are beneficial for handling exams anxiety because these activities maintain your child's energy levels, help them to stay well and enhance their concentration
Help your child to be confident to face the exams without fear and anxiety and have realistic expectations. Be supportive and help alleviate their worries by talking to them.
Be positive, help them put the concept of exams into perspective and to understand the importance of them and face them with an optimistic attitude. They can always take an exam again. Help achieve their goals at their pace.
Written for www.mumsincolombo.com by Nilu Perera
Nilu Perera runs At My Pace