Exams are a stressful and challenging time for every person. The thought that your entire future depends on your grade may knock off balance even the most diligent ones. Committed to the idea to perform as best as they can, students often sacrifice regular meals, sleep, and simple joys that only hinder their productivity and may lead to heavier problems such as low self-esteem, anxiety, and even depression.
During this hard period, least of all they need to be cold-shouldered and put on edge by their parents. Blinded by the desire to afford a brighter future for their kids, parents often push them to work harder encouraging unhealthy choices and negligence to other important parts of their life. And while it may seem helpful at that exact moment, oftentimes, it doesn’t prove worthy in the long run.
In this article, we are offering the opposite attitude. With these eight tips, parents can help their kids stay healthy and stress-free without sacrificing their productivity.
How Parents Can Help Their Kids Go Through Exam Stress
Sometimes, parents start comparing their kids to their fellow-students or someone they know out of good faith and motivation. And while competitive spirit can often do us a huge favor, experience shows that it doesn’t work for exam-stressed students already buried under a lack of confidence, fear, and lots of doubts.
Instead of judging and assessing their children from the perspective of academic performance, parents should be empathic and supportive. Offer your help once in a while and better explain to your child that a lower than expected grade is not the end of the world: there are many other ways to achieve success. Your child will get the confidence he lacks and become more enthusiastic about studying.
Encourage Healthy Eating
Squeezed into tight deadlines before the coming exam, young students can easily forget about regular healthy eating and start making do with random snacks and junk food. Not only is it empty calories for their body but overindulgence can also bring serious health problems in the future.
It’s the parents’ responsibility to provide a healthy eating routine for their kids and encourage them to consume food rich in macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Setting regular meal times and preventing your child from skipping them is important both for a young student and for the family in general. This way, exam-takers will fuel their body properly, as well as have meaningful distraction time among their dearest ones.
Foster Healthy Sleeping Habits
It always starts with frequent all-nighters and sleep deprivation. And this is where the catch lies: lack of sleep only brings loss of efficiency and productivity, even though you expect the opposite outcome. It has been proven by many researchers that regularly sleep-deprived students show worse cognitive and memorization results and need longer to restore their previous level.
Therefore, it’s crucial that parents watched over their kids and never fostered at-night studies in exchange for sound sleep. They should help their young students to create conditions where they have 7-8 hours of at-night rest. This brings us to the next tip:
Arrange a Schedule
Having a schedule helps to be in control of your daily tasks, plan your activity, and track progress. It is the first thing students should take care of when exams start looming on the horizon.
From the perspective of their experience, however, parents can help their kids to arrange their daily routine the way that would include some free time in addition to studying sessions.
Distractions are the worst enemy of productive studying. It has become especially critical in the era of smartphones and the internet when students are constantly tempted by endless messages from friends and social media notifications. Thinking of scrolling the feed to relax a bit when it gets hard, students in fact gobble a great amount of their time and lose their focus.
It is in parents’ best interests too to remove distractions and help their kids study well. It may be a good idea to discuss leaving gadgets out of the room for a certain period or even take stricter measures like using app blocks or forbidding internet access completely. However, often it is enough to explain that the more efficient they study, the more free time and stress-free life they can have.
Encourage Physical Activity
There is science behind it: regular physical activity facilitates good mood and academic progress. And parents should make sure that their preparing for exams kids get enough of it.
Sitting for the exam is a stress both for body and mind, and having an extra source of endorphins and something to be proud of won’t be odd. The best idea is when parents and kids train together. Thus, students will have their daily portion of the movement, as well as social communication and support. Sometimes, such moments can be a lynchpin in their academic progress.
Allow Meeting with Friend or Enjoying Hobbies
One of the worst things parents can do is forbid their children to have small daily joys like hanging out with friends or enjoying their hobbies. Even though students have significantly less free time before the exams, it is crucial to encourage them to have a life outside their room. Meaningful distractions prove to be really helpful in reducing stress and boosting energy levels. Besides, meeting with friends can be a great opportunity to discuss difficult issues or support each other.
Show Your Care
At the end of the day, however, it is all about parental support. Students who are not afraid to disappoint their parents and know they are loved no matter what usually perform better at life, like our reader Macy Conrad.
“I failed my high school exams. It annoyed me so much that the next year I was the best in the class. Now I am offering college essay writing help and receiving the second degree abroad”
Explain to your kids that there are numerous outcomes and one single failure doesn’t define them as a person.