Parents can suffer from exam anxiety too. Here's how to cope

11 June 2017

Exam time is usually stressful for children but many parents can also suffer from exam anxiety too. Here's help.

Exam time is usually stressful for children but many parents can also suffer from exam anxiety too.

Between worrying about their kids’ performance and even having to help them with their revision, it can get pretty stressful.

According to BBC, a recent survey showed that nearly a quarter of the parents said their own mental health had been affected by the pressure of their children's exams.

And they also said they had often lost sleep worrying over their children's exams.

Two in five parents said that not knowing how to help their children with revision made them feel as if they were "not good enough as parents". And nearly a third said they had offered their children money as an incentive to revise in the hope of boosting their marks.

“We often come across parents who are stressed about their children’s exams and studying, and in some cases, they’re even more worried than their kids are,” says Claudia Swartzberg, CEO of Top Dog Education.

To help parent stress a little less during this time, here are some tips and trick you can use:

Identify your child’s best way to learn

Try to identify how your child enjoys studying best, and adopt strategies around that.

READ MORE: What type of learner is your child? Here’s how to help them study more effectively

Create a great learning environment

A comfortable learning space can lead to productive learning and revision. Ensure that your child has what they need to thrive, whether it’s sufficient light and or a comfortable chair!

Get them to “teach”

A good way to get children to understand what they are learning, or to just practice their revision, is for them to “teach” you. Ask your child to pretend they’re the teacher, and go through a mock “lesson”.

Spread out revision

It’s difficult for anyone to concentrate on learning for long periods of time, so ensure your child is taking short breaks between revision bursts.

Support them

Studying is not always fun or easy, so praise your children when they are working hard. Encourage rather than threaten, as kids don’t need more stress during exam pressure.

READ MORE: What to do if you don’t understand your child’s homework

Ensure they’re sleeping sufficiently

Sleep is important to not only give children mental and physical rest, but to consolidate what’s been learnt during the day. Ensure their room is dark as light interferes with melatonin (the hormone needed for sleep) production. The blue light emitted by tablets and phones can also be disruptive to sleep.

Set up “rewards”

Incentivise studying and exams not necessarily through material rewards or “prizes”, but through fun activities that children can look forward to after a series of revisions or after an exam. Incentives can include a dinner out at a restaurant, or watching sport or series together. Or better yet, ask them what they want to do the most.

Additional Sources: BBC. Top Dog

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