Exam result stress is very common in children. Most often this stress is because of the want to fit in with peers, want to impress the teacher and want to impress the parents.
In my experiences of working with children, most of them have one complaint – ‘What I do is never enough for my parents’. There are some kids who may try harder but others simply give up, pre-assuming their failures since they are used to it now. However, exam result stress is true for both the child and the parent. While the parent is able to cope well, the child struggles through this. Here are some ways in which you can help your child overcome result fear.
What can we do to support our children during exam result stress
Listen to their reasons of poor performance with patience
Post exam stress can be very taxing. There maybe many reasons a child will cite for not performing upto expectations. Lack of time management might be one. Instead of yelling at her, work on your child’s time management skills. A struggle with time management is real for your child who has to not only complete the exam paper but also has to take time to gather her thoughts together and frame it well before writing down an answer. A fusion of time management activities and improvising study patterns will help here.
Dear Stress, Let’s break-up…My family doesn’t want you before the exams, during the exams, or when the results are going to be out.
‘I scored badly’
Instead of yelling at your child, work together on the expectations set keeping her abilities in mind. Engaging your child in a conversation like this will enable her to understand areas of strengths and challenges and work accordingly. Bad scores pull down a child’s motivation and self-esteem and handling it the right way is essential. Encourage your child to set reasonable expectations for herself without comparison to another and only levelling it with her capabilities. Prepare yourself to deal with the result day nerves.
‘Everyone is going to make fun of me’
The fear of exam result maybe stemming from a fear of losing face in peer group or family. Motivate your kid in areas where she lacks instead of laughing at a score that your child has received . A child needs a support system that she can fall back on in times of distress: a system that guides her responsibly, motivating and encouraging her to do her best. She maybe nervous and ashamed of how people will treat her for her performance. This can further lower self-esteem and confidence.
‘Who cares? It’s just an exam’
Do not get angry or irritated at this response. Better is to work on prioritization with your kid. A response like this is something that baffles parents during exam result stress. For parents, looking at the root of this concern is the definite solution. Is this subject interesting for your child? Are you sure your child is comfortable with the teacher? Is this a difficult subject for your child? Are your child’s priorities set in place? Address these concerns to help out your child to be not worried about the exam result day.
Also, though the performance of your child might be crucial for you, keep your responses level, devoid of any jingoism or extreme distress. For future, put the result behind and support her to perform better the next time around. Remember that exam result stress is a huge reality for the child.