Dealing with exam stress – a parent’s guide
The stress and strain of exam time is not much fun for your teenager. As a parent, you know this better than anyone! And let’s be honest, it’s not much fun for you either. So, here’s a few handy hints that will help you both navigate this tricky time and hopefully come out the other end smiling!
Aside from the pressure to do well, the prospect of having to revise multiple topics can be overwhelming. So, planning is key. Help your son or daughter put together a clear and structured revision schedule and work with them to decide the best approach to revising. A timetable will help them feel they have a handle on the situation and prevent valuable revision time from slipping away.
Next, make sure they have everything they need to make revision time productive. Help them get their books and materials ready, and maybe even treat them to new stationery to make it a little more fun.
It’s all in the technique
Encourage your teenager to gradually condense their longer revision notes down into postcard-sized cards, which will act as revision prompts. Provide them with highlighters so they can pick out key words and suggest they use a different coloured pen for each subject to help create a distinction between topics. For more tips on revision techniques, take a look at our other blog 4 Ways To Make Exam Revision Fun.
Help them look after themselves
Nobody can perform at their best if they’re not 100%. And your teenager may be too stressed out to take care of themselves. Fill up the fridge with plenty of healthy snacks and gently remind them to take regular exercise. Even a walk around the block will suffice, helping them to feel refreshed after an intense period of revision. Staying up late to revise, particularly before an exam, is a no-no. Sleep is important for the brain and if they’ve stuck to the plan there should be no need for last minute cramming.
Cut them some slack
As a parent the best thing you can do is make life as pleasant as possible for your son or daughter. This may be easier said than done when they’re snappy and cranky, but arguing over this stressful period can be counterproductive and only adds to the strain. Make sure everyone else in the household is aware of this and makes allowances for them too.
Reward don’t bribe
Showing an interest in your son or daughter’s work is supportive, however, treading that fine line between supportive and pushy is a tricky one. Encourage them to work hard for their own sake, not just to please you or for monetary bribes. Rewards to help motivate them along the way are fine – for example, a treat after a particularly long study session – but bribing with money for exam results can put out a negative message. Particularly if they don’t achieve the exam grades required.
So, from all of us here at STABILO, good luck! We may not be able to sit the exams for them (because that would be cheating) but hopefully our range of vibrant pens, highlighters and stationery will help your teenager along the way.
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