Come January, Examination preparations get underway. Students have pulled up their socks, and parents, with all good intentions, are ‘hovering’ with support!
It is not only the children who undergo tremendous amounts of stress, Parents too display the same symptoms that their children do, stressing about the adequacy of their preparations.
Here are a few of the stress related symptoms that both, children & parents show:
Major stress signs in children that are natural.
- Fear of failing
- Feeling sick
- Butterflies in stomach
- Shortness of breath
- Frequently tearful
- Feeling saturated, decreased concentration
- Mind going blank
- Constant fatigue, distraction or hyperactivity
- Lack of sleep or too much of sleep
- Mood swings
- Comfort eating or losing appetite
- Anger - breaking things or slamming doors or being generally irritable
Major stress signs in parents – to be overcome
- Preoccupation with the child’s study patterns
- Increased irritability
- Having difficulty in falling asleep in night
- Cutting down of social contact completely in that duration
- Complete “no-no” for TV, friends, any recreational activity for the child
- Insisting on a fixed wake-study-sleep time table/routine
- Constant worry about the child’s grades and consequences of average grades
The stress, tension and anxiety of this EXAM FEVER is experienced when we give examinations, performance, results, admission etc. a priority over and beyond anything else. As parents we need to remember to help children relax and concentrate, instead of increasing pressure on them. This will help them study with a calmer and focused mind without worrying about parents’ expectations, reactions or consequences
Simple ways to have stress-free study months.
- Instead of ‘chanting’ the study mantra 24X7, sit with the child and help him/her to make his/her ‘Schedule’ including study and break times (friends, T.V., Music, a simple walk)
- Make one meal a family time, a simple study-free talk time
- Assure your child that it’s okay to feel tense during this time and that you are there with him/her to help deal with the tension. Express unconditional love.
- Practice what you preach, De-stress yourself as well. This decreases the burden on the child as well as yourself.
Remember: Each child is unique, with his/her own set of strengths & weaknesses. Encouragement without judgment is very important.
Accept your children for who they are and remember that your children may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.
All the best.