Exam season is approaching and the air is getting thicker with stress. The stress is not only for the students but also for the parents and educators. Students are often under higher stress of performing well in exams. Many times it is the expectations of the parents leading the stress in the children. The exam stress is often overwhelming. This often leads to problems like lack of sleep, lack of appetite, difficulty in concentrating and more.
A systematic, persistent, organized, planned and regular effort from the beginning of the academic session is the best method for any adolescent to prevent anxiety related to examination – states the research on Examination Stress in Adolescents
It’s important to create a balance between mental health and academic success of the children. Here, we have suggested some effective strategies on how to help children overcome stress during exam time.
What Is Exam Stress?
Exam stress is a mental and physical response that children experience before exams. It’s a typical response to the pressure of exams and the fear of performing poorly. Stress of this kind can take many different forms. It can adversely impact learners of all ages, from elementary scholars to those in higher education. Fostering resilience, positive mind-set, managing stress are utmost important for the children.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Exam Stress?
Here are some common symptoms and signs of exam stress –
- Physical Signs – Symptoms like headaches, nausea, insomnia, fatigue, shortness of breath, or rapid heartbeat indicate stress.
- Emotional Signs – The most common emotion sign is the fear of failure. Mood swings, irritability, nervousness are other emotionally stressed signs.
- Cognitive Signs – The difficulty in concentrating, memory lapses, negative self-talk are bad stress symptoms for mental health.
- Behaviour Signs – Procrastination, restlessness, avoiding revision or study are behaviour signs indicating that the child is under stress.
How To Help Children Overcome Stress During Exam Time?
Navigating exam stress management is a collaborative effort. It involves parents, educators, and students. We can equip our children to approach exams with resilience and an optimistic attitude. Parents or educators need to encourage open communication, support healthy habits, and teach the children stress-reduction skills.
Here are some tips and tricks to help the children overcome exam stress.
One of the most important things parents can do to support their children during stressful times is to communicate openly with them. It’s crucial to provide an open, understanding environment for children to express their emotions. Encourage them to share their worries, anxieties, and even achievements. They are able to let go off with the stored-up tension in a supportive environment.
Make a Realistic Schedule
Help the children make a manageable schedule. Inculcate intervals in the study sessions to prevent burnouts. Let them go for a walk to get some fresh air. This aids in better retention, and boosts productivity. In turn, this would promote concentration and focus.
A balanced diet is necessary for a healthy mind and good concentration. Avoid junk foods and carbonated drinks. Encourage children to do some deep breathing exercises or meditation. Do exercise on a daily basis. Exercise can help reduce stress, boost energy levels, and calm the mind. Whatever it is, dancing, football, swimming, cycling, and walking all are powerful tools to relieve stress.
Celebrate small victories, hard work, and perseverance. There can be some possible rewards for completing revision materials and study efforts made. Rewards don’t have to be lavish or large. These could be as easy as preparing their favourite dish or watching TV. This instils a sense of accomplishment in children, irrespective of the exam outcomes. It also promotes positivity towards learning.
Avoid Comparisons and Criticism
Every child is a unique individual with unique interests. Avoid comparing them to other folks. They will remain demotivated and it might even make them feel worse. Instead, value their distinct qualities and abilities. Many children believe that their families put the most pressure on them during exam time. Don’t criticise your child; instead, listen to them and offer support.
Limit the Gadgets
Allow the children to use gadgets only for a limited time. Even though the majority of resources are now accessed online, setting limits is necessary during exam time. The type of content viewed and the amount of time spent using technology is crucial to maintain for preventing distractions while they study.
It may be necessary for some children to seek professional help. Not all children experience a significant improvement in their mood after an exam. Seek assistance if your child experiences severe anxiety or depression that interferes with their daily life. Long-term stress management can be facilitated by understanding the underlying conditions and treating irrational thoughts under the guidance of a therapist. This can also help the parents understand their child’s concerns and learn how to handle the situation in a healthier way.
Remember, success is not solely measured by grades but by the lessons learned and the growth achieved along the way.
As we mentor our children through academics, let’s focus on educating them about diligence, perseverance, and self-discovery in addition to their grades. By taking proactive measures to manage exam stress, we support both academic achievement and the growth of well-rounded individuals who are resilient and self-assured in the face of life’s obstacles.