Coping with Exam Stress
Exams can be a stressful time for children and equally as stressful for long-suffering parents/guardians! Helping children manage their stress invariably leads to a happier environment for all concerned and should hopefully lead to better results in the process. A win-win!
Stress can manifest in many forms, Children and young people who are stressed may:
- Suffer from interrupted sleep
- Suffer from bed wetting
- Lose interest in food or eat more than usual
- Suffer from headaches or stomach pains
- Be negative and irritable
For parents, teachers & kids, juggling the stress and excitement of 7+, 8+, 11+ & 13, on top of the uncertainty of Covid-19 lockdown can certainly exacerbate stress levels, here are some top tips to calm your nerves!
1) Talk to your children about how they are feeling about their learning journey
2) ‘Listen’ to their responses and reflect on how exams and grades do not validate a child
3) Make a plan prioritising break times and fun activities around revision
4) Focus on the bigger picture and how these exams are just one moment in the overall scheme of life
5) Drink plenty of water, eat nutritious food, lots of hugs, breathing exercises, massage and plenty of sleep!
Encouraging children to improve small facets of their daily routines can really help alleviate stress. A balanced diet is crucial for children’s health, swapping high sugar treats for a healthier alternative can increase concentration and put a stop to those mood-inducing sugar crashes. Along with a healthy diet, getting enough sleep goes a long way to improving concentration and clarity of thought. The NHS advises that children between 6 to 12 years of age should be getting at least 9 to 12 hours of sleep a night. Allowing your child to unwind after studying and reducing screen time an hour or so before bed can help them fall asleep easier.
Exercise is also incredibly beneficial, especially during these current times of social restrictions. Helping to boost energy levels and reducing stress, encourage your child to do something they enjoy – whether that be football, dancing or a cycle around the park. Why not get involved too and record a dance off for Tik Tok?!