How can we help our children get through this hard time? And what kind of methods can we try to fight the stressful emotions?
Here are 6 tips on how to help your kids deal with test anxiety:
Prepare in advance
The best way to reduce stress and anxiety to a minimum is to be well prepared for the exam.
Make sure your child starts studying a few days (or weeks) in advance to eliminate the risk of studying the night before. Help them organize the materials needed for the exam and create a schedule for studying. Talk about the studying process and help them review the class material.
Educate your child
Help your child understand that stress and anxiety is something normal.
Sooner or later the tension is going to show up. Tell them that they should stop for a little while after a few hours of studying.
After they receive the exam papers, tell them to close their eyes, breathe deeply and relax their muscles.
Additionally, educate them about exam rules. These are some great tips:
Target the highest point questions. When they see that they are moving towards a big score with every answer, it will boost their confidence.
Do not go fast and to take as much time needed for answering the test questions.
Go to another question if they don't know the answers. Choose the questions they can easily answer first.
Eliminate negative thinking
Everybody has heard about positive self -talk and what kind of influence it has on a person's actions.
So focus on things they do know. Remind your child how hard they've worked, and they're simply doing their best. Say it to your child to boost their confidence. Focus on the positive and not the negative.
This is a great technique for students who are very nervous and stressed in general. There are a lot of different methods for relaxation that you can do with your child:
Go for a walk. It will refresh minds and give extra energy while calming down.
Take a series of 10 deep breaths while studying with eyes closed.
Practice yoga a few times per week; it will release physical and mental tension.
Stretch and tone the muscles by doing isometric exercises.
Good rest is essential for the body and mind performance on a daily basis.
When you help your child during test preparation, make sure they get adequate sleep. They will be more productive the next day. A good eight hours of night sleep is a must, especially on a night before an exam.
A balanced diet is very important while studying.
To reduce stress, give your child lots of fruits, vegetables, water or even green tea. Try to give them healthy food options with regular breaks between meals.
Forget about processed food, as it can increase anxiety and stress.
Don't forget to start their day with a nutritious breakfast, like cereals with fruit.
Mostly, the best thing you can give your child is support. If you know that your child is a stressed little human being, then just be with them. Help them organize their time with studying, review the material, be encouraging and don't forget that saying good words can help calm them down.
Your child will find it very helpful that there is someone supportive next to them; this will reduce their level of anxiety.
If the above points do not work, and the situation gets to a point where it is difficult to talk to your child, you can even arrange counseling services for your child.
Anne Meyers is a counselor in Louisville, Colorado. She works extensively with teens and families and helping them overcome traumatic events in their life. When she isn't with her patients, she loves to read and experience different cultures.