Exams = STRESS – TRAUMA – LONLINESS for students

That time of year has arrived again- exam time. This post is written for the thousands of parents who have a student about to commence end of year exams.

Have you ever tried to coax a student through the Year 12 exam period? If so, you’ll know that it’s a difficult time because you want your child to stand on their own two feet, to study and prepare effectively and yet, you can see that they are struggling and you are just not sure what to do and how you can help. So what do you do? This post will tell you what you need to know, and what you can do, to make sure you give your child the help and support they need to successfully negotiate their exam period.

Exam stress is actually a good thing to notice in your child. It is an indicator that doing well at their exams is important to them. You can expect them to be a bit ‘short in the grain’ and ‘snappy’ however it becomes a problem if you start to notice the following types of behaviour:

  • Isolation and not wanting to talk. The study period leading up to exams is quite a lonely period for kids. They have lost regular access to their teachers and most of the kids they associate with at school and all of a sudden they encounter the realisation that their exams are imminent and are going to happen whether they feel ready or not. Your job as their parents is to help keep their life in balance and short activities together can be an important way of giving them a mental break from study, giving them some social outlet and giving them the opportunity to talk to you. eg. play a game together, visit a grandparent or cook together- whatever it is that you know will work for them.
  • An increase in  alcohol or drug use or food consumption can indicate that your child is feeling a lot of exam related pain and they are using alcohol, drugs or food to self medicate themselves and therefore gain a short term ‘feel good’ experience at the expense of a ‘healthy’ lifestyle which will support them during the exam period. Try to find some ways to replace these negative ‘feel good’ activities with some positive ‘feel good’ experiences. Again use whatever it is that you know will work for them.
  • Poor sleep habits can destroy a student’s ability to focus and concentrate. Lack of sleep can also invite mistakes such as misreading questions and mistiming the exam. Encourage a regular routine of 7-8 hours sleep in the lead up to exam period and during exam period.

Now that you know the problems to look for during your child’s exam period, you are ready to provide them with the support they need without worrying that they won’t achieve their best. Further information can be obtained from the Parents tab in the  FREE STUFF section of the www.aussiekidscoach.com website and download the FREE Report called, “Seven Super Study Secrets”

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