Your child will be facing a class test soon and the anxiety is getting to him or her in more ways than one. One thing for sure you are not sure how your kid is going to cope with the test. More so that you are not sure how you can cope with your kid’s coping with that. So you make it a point that you are well aware of the test and try to help your kid come up on top of things in view of all the anxiety and stress that they might feel. This is where you have to be somewhat careful not to make things any worse than they already are.
How the kid feels
To begin with you have to know how the kid is feeling on top of all this. Your child will most likely be feeling the stress as the examination day draws nearer. They will most likely be complaining about headaches, butterflies int eh stomach and such all of which are some sort of tension and stress that they are feeling. Some might even go to the extend of having cold sweat and such, all of which might have its repercussion in one way or another.
Some kids who take their work very seriously would be facing more problems like losing sleep, losing focus and so on all of which will be a big deterrence every time a test day comes about. While it is very easy to discount all these feelings and say that they are only felt because of pressure, you have to bear in mind that such emotions are felt not only by children but with adults as well. The only difference here perhaps would be the way we cope with them where we are better off in overcoming stress compared to the younger ones.
As parents, you will have to then identify where the problem lies. Of course if the child did not prepare for the test, then there really isn’t much they can do after that. So if they are ill-prepared for the examinations, then you do not really have much of a choice but to have them do better and be more prepared the next time. But if they actually did prepare for the exam and felt the anxiety for fear of failing or forgetting what they studied then you will have to play your part in assuring them that doing their best is all they can do for now.
The importance of tests and examinations
Before you can start helping your kids overcome their anxieties, it is essential that you educate them about the importance of tests and examinations. This is vital because to begin with there are reasons for such sessions to be held in schools. Knowing fair well the students do not like tests, education systems still insists that tests and examinations be held in order to access how well they fare. So you should tell your kids that exams are important because it shows just how much they have learnt in school. On top of that, it also helps to evaluate just how well the teachers have been carrying out their duties in school. Tell your kids that examinations are not there to make their lives harder but is to help the schools know if the teachers are good or not as well.
The pressure cooker
One of the main reasons why students fail in their examinations are not because they were not prepared but more so because they forgot the things they learnt. This are the result whereby the kid have studied prior to the examination day and tend to forget due to reasons like pressure and anxiety. More often than once we have heard of people going into the examination hall and then find that they cannot recall anything that they have studies. Even the simple and free questions were difficult to answer. Why you might ask.
A lot of this comes from the fact that they are facing anxiety and stress not from the school or teachers but more so from their own parents. A lot of parents tend to compliment their kids when they excel and put them down if they don’t. Making comparisons with other kids are also common problems faced by the kids. A little push goes a long way but too hard a push will result in big problems. Parents must be able to find a balance between compliment, pressure, comparisons and such. You cannot let your kid know that it is okay to fail and yet you cannot tell them that anything below a distinction grade is equivalent of a failure. You have to accept that there are certain parts in school that your kid might not be as good as others so it could be that they might be mediocre in certain areas so let them learn from there.
Kids who have to carry the thoughts of ‘consequences if I do badly’ to examinations are those who will most likely face instances of forgetting what they studied and such. You have to allow them the leeway to express themselves in the tests that they are going to sit for, otherwise they will start having problems with sleep, vomiting and all the constant affects of anxiety. The best thing that you should be instilling in your kid about tests is that they do their best and you can assure that doing their best means preparing well and then be confident when going into the examination hall.
How to lessen examination stress
So you might be asking how to help your kid minimize their stress and letting them sit for the test in the most confident mental state. Parents are the most influential parties here. You have to communicate with your child about the importance of examinations not the importance of doing better than the others and coming out on top. The most important thing here is to be accessible to your kids whenever they need help and then assuring them about how to do their best in the test.
Help them to prepare for their examinations. Always let them know what they should do in class which are to listen and pay attention. Asking questions whether at home or in the class are equally as important. Never be afraid to seek clarification when they are unsure will help them prepare for the examination along the way.
Block out any negative thoughts that your kid might have when examinations are approaching. Some parents tell their kids that if they do badly they are going to ‘get it’. This you would know is never the right way although it might give them the push that they need. If they go for the examination knowing fair well that they have to do well in order to get a better grades then it helps them in gaining the confidence that they need and eliminating the possibilities of forgetting.