It’s coming up to that time of year. SATS, GCSEs, A Levels, etc Exam season can be such a stressful time for all involved. The kids are tired, they come home stressed, sleep is disrupted, they get moody and anxious. Exam Stress – How to help your kids cope.
Before we get into how to help reduce the stress a little story time.
I came downstairs the other morning and the bigger twins were feeling stressed, they hadn’t slept properly they were feeling stressed about the upcoming Pre SATS tests, so not even the actual SATS but the test to prepare for the real thing.
There is no wonder our teens have a high rate of mental health they seem to have so much pressure set upon them now a days.
anyway back to the kids. They were stressing and I told them that while its good to have a little bit of stress to push us to do our best hanging on to that stress, being overly anxious about them is not only not good for them but it really is unnecessary.
I told them that when I was at school I didn’t do well in my GCSEs yet I am a best-selling published author, public speaker and I own my own business. Their dad didn’t go to university, wasn’t amazing in school yet he is a Dr of science. Grandad – He owned his own business yet finished school early. Sats weren’t even a thing when we were all at school. Even their big brother while he’s gone through the system and gained his degree – He’s now doing a job that isn’t related to his degree one bit in-fact he didn’t even need qualifications to start.
I told them it does not matter – try your best, do your best but ultimately these tests do not matter.
Now how to help reduce the stress in exam season.
Exam Stress – How to help reduce the stress.
1: Long periods of revision are not good for anyone and actually, after so long, they won’t retain any more information anyway. So encourage regular breaks and fill those breaks with something they love doing. A craft project, some Minecraft or Fortnite or better still get outside.
2: Get outside, fresh air really boosts our mood and can improve cognitive function too. So take the long way to school, and add some fresh air activities into their downtime or take regular breaks for a breath of fresh air.
3: Nutrition is important. At stressful times eating can be the last thing on their mind but it’s important to eat some nutritious food regularly. Smoothies, soups, or home-cooked dinners for example. and snacks of fruit and nuts.
4: Give them time and space for them to chat with you about how they are feeling. Chats over dinner or on the way to clubs are a great way of opening the conversation. but its important our children know they have time and space away from siblings to talk too.
5: Letting our children know that we are proud of them and love them whatever happens, however, they do in their tests or exams. I reiterate my story time earlier in this post.
6: Work with the school to find out how best to support revision with your child(ren) and ask what the best way to revise is for your children.
7: Keep positive, showing our children a positive mindset is infectious and if we feel positive they are likely to feel more positive too.
8: Create a toolbox of well-being with them. Ask what they would like to do to relax. It could be fidget toys, yoga, a teen mindfulness practice, a little art or colouring in. It could even be some essential oils that they could use on their body or in a diffuser.
9: Talk to the school if your child has a subject that struggles with in particular. They may be able to provide extra help for that subject.
10: Have a fun plan for after exams. A day out at the beach, a favourite meal, A few friends around for pizza. Ask what they would like to do.
Everybody is a genius but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will spend its whole life believing it is stupidAlbert Einstein
If stress is too much or your child is struggling with anxiety and it impacting their day-to-day then talk to your Dr.
I really hope this helps you and your children go through exam season with less stress.