Exam stress is a real thing – not only for your teenager but also you – their parents, and family. However, you can help your teenager cope with the exam stress effectively by creating a positive environment at home.
As a parent, you will want to identify the symptoms of exam stress from an early onset. Some of the common signs include the following:
- Interrupted sleep patterns
- Low level of confidence
- Increased irritation
- Increased bouts of anger
- Erratic eating patterns
- ● Skin breakouts/ eczema
There are practical ways that parents can integrate at home to help their teenagers feel at ease and confident about the exam.
Here is what you will want to do:
Get the Basics Right
In order to feel confident and ready for the exams, your teenagers need to function well at the basic core first. It is impossible to study effectively without taking care of one’s physical and mental health. So, you will want to ensure that your teenager eats well, is hydrated, and practices good sleep hygiene so that they have a solid foundation to work on while preparing for their exams.
Without the basic ingredients, your teenager’s mind and body won’t be able to function at their best capacity.
At this point, you might be wondering what you can do at home as a parent, and we are here to tell you exactly that.
Firstly, you will want to start with getting their workspace/ study space cleaned and organized – especially during the exam season. You will want to ensure that their study space is calm and clean, and you will also want to aim at minimizing distractions.
You will want to ensure that the fridge is well-stocked with nutritious and healthy snacks. The same goes for the pantry. You will want to keep their mealtimes orderly to give them a sense of routine that also syncs with their study sessions.
As their exams draw closer, you will want to include smaller portions of meals throughout the day to boost their concentration and energy – this way – they won’t feel lethargic. You will also want to encourage the consumption of healthy drinks in place of coffee and energy drinks.
You will want to discourage your teens from pulling all-nighters as it can affect their memory and concentration, which might make it difficult for them to recall information later.
Help them create Doable Study Goals
Teens need help with their studies and setting study goals, which is why you will want to sit with them and go through their study material to help them set their priorities. Your teenager will be more likely to have a wide range of subjects to prepare for, which is why you will want to encourage them to start with the tougher subjects at the start of their study sessions.
This way, you will be setting them up to start their study sessions the right way – by tackling the difficult subjects first. You will want to prioritize their tasks based on the level of creativity that is required to tackle them.
By setting study goals, you will help them integrate a positive and doable way of getting through their wide range of subjects instead of studying haphazardly and without a given direction. This way, they will also at the least feel overwhelmed or overloaded with revising one chapter after another of the same book.
Instead, you will be helping them to stick to a strategic approach while putting their entire focus on one chapter or half a chapter at one time before moving on to a lighter subject. Make sure to integrate periods of relaxation in between their study sessions.
For instance, after an intense study session of an hour or two, you will want to encourage your teenager to get up, do a few yoga stretches, go for a quick run around the block, or take a refreshing shower. The aim is to get them away from their desk for a few minutes before they resume their study sessions.
Of course, as a parent, you will want to help your teenagers make the most of their study sessions, which is why you will want to provide them with additional reading materials as well, such as the Sutton SET 11+ test papers that are exclusively prepared by the subject experts and will provide your teenager with a direction and also prepare their mind for what they could potentially be expecting from their exam.
Simultaneously, you will also want to encourage your teen to learn about time management and project management. They can select different apps to help them with time and project management. It will also give them a sense of accomplishment as they reach the smaller milestones.
Talk to Them
You will want to let your teenagers know that you are their safety cushion, and they can come and talk to you any time. You will want to stay updated on your teen’s exam preparation by asking them questions, such as how their revision is going.
Make sure to have a family dinner to enable your teenager to share with you about their day. While you communicate with your children, you will want to integrate positive feedback and word of encouragement into your conversation. This way, you will help them establish a positive outlook on how things are going, and they will also feel less alone and more understood.
It is important to mention here that sometimes parents forget that they are dealing with teenagers. You shouldn’t feel hurt or take it personally if they don’t talk back to you. If you react to them not wanting to talk to you, you will only add to their stress by making them feel bad about you.
As a parent, you will want to look after yourself too. While you do your best to create a supportive environment, you will also want to manage your personal worries or work-related stress, which is why it is essential to connect with your inner self and connect to a friend.
If you want to look after your teenager, you will want to look after yourself too.