Taking a test is rarely a pleasant experience. If you think back to your own school days, you’ll probably feel a bit of anxiety and discomfort remembering those exams. Now, you have your own kids, who also feel nervous and tense before their exams, and it’s your job to help them overcome that anxiety. Here’s our two cents on how to help mentally prepare your kids for tests.
No matter if it’s a regular school test or a standardized exam on a national level, your child will most likely be under some kind of stress.
The first step you should take in order to relieve this tension is to openly communicate with your child throughout the school year. As you know, a problem shared is a problem halved. Therefore, if your kid knows that they can rely on you, it will already be a great relief for them.
On the other hand, you should not be too intrusive when communicating with your child. Just talk to them about their school tasks from day one in a relaxed way and be included in their school life. It’s important to strike a balance between showing you are there to help, and showing them that you know they are capable.
Assisting in Studying
Apart from communication, you always need to have an insight into your child’s school work and assignments, so as to contribute to their organizational skills and ability to meet deadlines. Be careful not to fall into the trap of doing their work for them - it should be a learning process!
To provide and example - you can get some of these ready-made student planners and help your child organize their tasks daily and weekly. If you help them break larger tasks into smaller ones and schedule them daily, they’ll learn to follow that pattern and study without your direct help. Sometimes children might feel they need an extra hand from a teaching professional when they’re preparing for their big exams. In that case, first ask their school teachers if they could hold some extra classes for your child outside of school hours. If that doesn’t help, you can look in to additional childcare assistance such as a tutor, in order to help prepare your child for their school obligations.
All these options will clearly show your child that there are always alternatives in studying, as well as in life.
Relieving the Stress the Day Before
Many children, as well as college students, spend the last day and night before the exam cramming. This is counterproductive, and parents should try to dissuade their kids from doing so. Such an approach will wear your child out, which could affect their concentration and their confidence levels during the test. That’s why we suggest supervision over your child’s school duties, to ensure that they are prepared for test day in good time.
We suggest that do the day before the big day is take your son or daughter out and spend some quality time with them. Be it a lunch, an ice cream or a movie, just try to charge them with some positive energy and give them enough mental fuel to pass the exam with flying colors. Make sure they get to bed early, and are well-rested for test day.
The Final Preparations
When the big day comes, your child start the day with a fine pre-test breakfast. It will give them enough strength for the test, and disallow any distractions or hunger pangs. Do everything you can to have that breakfast together with your child - the final words of support they’re going to hear at the breakfast table are extremely important. Children often hold some irrational fear and self-doubt, so try to remind them how much they’ve worked and that you’re proud of their effort. If you notice that your child wants to talk about other topics, comply with their wishes. Some kids are quite aware of their knowledge. But still, you should be there as a psychological relief.
Last but not the least, make sure that your child takes a bottle of water with them, so as not to dehydrate during the exam.
Tests are generally perceived as stressful for students of all ages. This is where parents need to come on stage and support their kids. Regardless of the grades your child receives, you should always be here for them, especially during the high test season. Always observe what’s going on and be there for them when they need you.
AuthorBio: Anne Harris is an HR specialist working for londongoverness.com. She recruits nannies, governesses and other childcare professionals, ensuring top-notch services for parents worldwide. In her free time she likes reading about education, and children's welfare, as well as visiting sports events.