How to help your child cope with the stressors of college prep exams?

Every time we think of the word exam the next word that comes to mind is the word ‘stress.’ We have all been there. Everyone knows that the days of exam preparations are full of anxiety. In fact, exams bring along a package of the biggest stressors of student life. And, as a parent, it is your responsibility to make sure your kid doesn’t succumb to that stress.
Here’s how you can do your job well as a parent and help your kid cope with the anxiety and pressure that often comes tagged with days of prepping for the examination –

First off – recognize the stressors

• Not being ready to accept uncertainties/failure
• Unrealistic expectations set either by the parent or the student
• Procrastination
• Family issues making it difficult to focus on studies
• Negative self-talk or pessimism

Be their support system

We all want some form of support system. And, the biggest support system comes from parents. This is not just some fancy way of saying that your kids need you! It’s the truth. Do not distance yourself from your children when they are prepping for the exam. Be available to talk out any problems if you feel they are going through them. Express your willingness to help them and actually be there when they need you.

Do not remind them of your high expectations

Sometimes kids fear more not being able to live up to their parents’ expectations than their own. After all, we all know how disappointing it can be to let someone down. The situation becomes worse when that party is our own parents. It’s the first rule of parenting 101 – never express your high expectations from kids. Instead, show faith in them that they will do their job best. Even if they fail to, tell them you still love/accept them no matter how they perform in exams. This alone should make them feel lighter and less stressed out.

Give them a peaceful space to study from

Create a separate study room for them and make sure not to use it for any other activities. Make sure the environment is conducive of studying with full concentration. Do make sure there are no noises from the background or the television.

Try not to bring up family issues or raising them in first place

The human mind can only focus on one thing at a time. If students are preoccupied with family issues, they would never be able to concentrate on their studies. Do not give them negative things to think about. Try to maintain harmony in relationships when exams are nearing.

Avoid using negative words

Times of prepping for examination is when the kids need the dose of positivity the most! Therefore, parents need to be mindful of the words they use while around kids. Do not say stuff like ‘why haven’t you started prepping yet’? Or ‘there’s so little time left for the exams.’ Instead, give them encouragement. Do not put them down.
Kids take their parents words at face value. Therefore, everything you say should be positive, healthy, and full of encouragement. Ask them if you can help them out in any way possible.

Give them assurance

Sometimes kids set too high or unrealistic expectations for doing exceptionally well in the exams. And that can set into motion a series of prolonged anxiety and self-created pressure. We all know that things don’t always turn out the way you expect them to. Despite all the hard work, we sometimes fail to achieve the goal with which we set out.
With that said reassure your kid time and again that it’s okay if they don’t do that well in exam or even if they score a little less than their target.