Being a kid isn’t all fun and games. When tests and exams roll around it can be easy for young people to become very stressed and very anxious. With testing on the rise across England and Wales, there’s even more pressure on kids to perform in the classroom and there are even more reasons for them to become worried and panicked.
Childhood should be a carefree time and it’s not easy watching your youngster stress out about testing, especially when you can’t be there to help them when test day comes around. There are, however, lots of ways you can help give your young learner support and a sense of perspective about their tests and exams. Alongside tonnes of recommendations for the best free bingo sites, we’ve also got a few helpful pieces of advice to reduce your youngster’s exam stress:
1. Identify stress
Stress in children and young people can manifest in lots of different ways. From headaches and tiredness to stomach cramps and irritability. If you’ve noticed a change in your child’s mood or if they’ve been taking more sick days than usual, it’s time to have a chat about how they’re feeling. You can also talk to their teachers about their behavior at school to try to get to the bottom of what’s causing this change in mood and find out more about how you can help support them.
2. Find a study buddy
Having someone to discuss work and upcoming tests with can make a big difference to how youngsters feel about upcoming tests. Encourage them to partner up with a friend as a “study buddy” for after school homework sessions or consider employing a tutor so that your child can discuss any confusion that may be causing them stress, then gain confidence in their own abilities.
3. Feed them properly
Ensuring your child has a healthy, balanced diet can make a big difference to their mood, energy levels and academic performance. Too many sugary, fatty or caffeinated foods and drinks can cause a burst of hyperactive energy followed by an inevitable crash, leaving them feeling irritable and stressed. Eat well and feel better!
4. Enforce bedtimes
We know it’s not easy getting them to go to bed at the right time, but the more sleep your child gets the more energy they’ll have to take to school. Children who get more sleep are regularly shown to perform better at school, so make sure they get lots of beauty (and brain!) sleep. Encourage children to wind down before bedtime with 30 minutes without TV or computers to promote a restful night.
5. Be positive and reduce pressure
We all want our kids to do well, but piling on the pressure at exam time is a surefire route to stressed out students. Listen to their problems and worries, then respond calmly, keeping everything in perspective and giving advice where you can. Before exams, offer encouragement, be positive and avoid criticism. Make sure your child understands that this one test will not make or break their futures, you’ll be proud as long as they try their best.
Do your children suffer from exam stress? How do you help to keep them happy and worry free? Share your experiences with our readers below or tweet your thoughts @TwoLittleFleas.