Updated: January 8, 2019 10:44:12 am
Your child needs your support during exams, whether it’s just lending a patient ear or making sure they keep away from online distractions.
Here’s how you can support children during exams:
Be familiar with your child’s exam schedule
We know you’re a busy parent, which is why some advance planning helps. Don’t leave it to your son or daughter to inform you of their exam timings. Get a printout and pin it up where you can all see it and keep an online copy for reference, if required. This way, you know when they need to be dropped off at the exam centre.
If the bed isn’t made, you’re within your rights to point it out, but avoid prolonged arguments over it for now, since your child needs to focus on their exams. It’s a team effort and the family has to pull together and make sure all energies are devoted to the task at hand.
Have meals with the family
Chances are, your child is cooped up in their room for long hours preparing for their exams. Make sure they have their meals with the family, so that they get a break from the monotony of constant studying. Keep the dining table conversation light, so that your child feels refreshed.
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Avoid burdening them with your stress
We know you’re stressed, probably even more than your child. But when the exam date nears, it’s time to back off and let the child be calm. If you’re still wracked by nerves, vent to a partner or a friend. Your child is stressed enough and can do without you adding to it.
Make sure they get a good night’s sleep
A good night’s sleep is very important. Check your child’s timetable to ensure they have enough time for a well-earned sleep. This will calm their nerves and keep them alert on the big day.
Keep away from digital distractions
It’s difficult to steer clear of digital devices completely, but it’s critical to do so during exam time. Install parental controls on your child’s devices so that you can ensure they keep away from distractions and focus on doing their best during exams.
Incentives and bribes
There’s a fine line between an incentive to do well and outright bribery. Your child should be motivated to put their best foot forward in their exams, without you offering a bribe, such as an expensive gift. However, a family meal or outing is a good idea after the exam as it will also help take the pressure off.
Be a sounding board
Ask them how their exam went, but withhold judgment. Offer to be a listening post, without blaming them for anything they’ve got wrong in the answer sheet. Be encouraging about the remaining tests and keep them hopeful about the outcome. Let them know you’re there to fofer support, whatever the outcome.
Make time for your child, particularly during the important papers. If possible, if you have leave left, inform your office and take it during this time so you can be around your child. Stay aware of their needs, whether it’s a spot of revision, a cup of coffee to perk them up or just being available to address any concerns.
Maintain a balanced diet and routine
Whether it’s the daily glass of milk or almonds, make sure your child isn’t skipping meals and is eating on time. Nutrition plays an important role in keeping energy levels up.
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