Beating Exam Stress
Saturday, April 03 2010 @ 09:26 PM CDT
Contributed by: admin
How you can help your children to get through, without crumbling under the pressure.
Sure enough, we have all heard before how stress can actually drive people out of procrastination and inertia, and into achieving results. But, did you know that this claim only works if the pressure remains at a moderate amount?
During the exams, it is easy for stress levels in children to escalate and spiral out of control as they might not know how to burn it off, except during play which they are going to get less of. Soon enough, you will find your kids suffering from weakened immune systems, panic attacks or even depression. What is the use of good results when your children end up jeopardising their health?
Below are some methods you can take note of, to lighten their load during this trying period.
STOP TRANSFERRING THE STRESS
Parents can unwittingly aggravate the stress of their children by pressurising them to do well. Not only does this add on to their burden, it mars their actual potential. It is good to just encourage and give your children support without putting them behind mental bars.
GET THEM MOVING
Set aside time for them to exercise or engage in short periods of physical activities. Though you may think that it would eat up precious revision time, exercising actually helps them counter stress, get energised and feel ready for the challenge ahead.
SLEEP IT OFF
Discourage them from burning the midnight oil. Ensure that revision does not reduce their hours of sleep. Growing children need more than eight hours of sleep, and ideally ten for them to function at their best.
Sleeping allows the brain to process the day’s memories and hence, helps them internalise what they have learnt. With a lack of sleep, not only does it impede their concentration and growth, it results in increased production of stress hormones.
GIVE THEM A BREAK
You could help your children get a good start to the exams by planning a revision timetable for them. However, be careful not to create a back-to-back three-hour intensive study schedule that will further depress them. Be generous. Throw in plenty of short breaks for relaxing TV-watching, gaming or skating.
SAY NO TO THE CAFFEINE SHORTCUT
Get them off caffeine. Caffeine, a stimulant, may provide instant concentration, but its energising effect is short-lived and leads to palpitation, irritability and anxiety which altogether escalate stress. Not to mention, results in stained teeth.
RESULTS MAY NOT BE EVERYTHING
As much as you would like your precious ones to perform academically, and carve out a career in respected fields like medicine, architecture and such, other lines that are not based entirely on one’s academic prowess, such as design and sports, are equally respected.
Should you sense that your kids are breaking under the pressure, you could assure them that exams are not a matter of life-and-death; and that although they should do their best, they might have other venues for them to turn to in the future.