Parents help your kids

Parents! How to Help Your Kids Handle the Pressure of Exam Season


As exam season kicks off, it’s time for cool heads and calm.

For students, exam season will be (for many) the most nerve-wracking, stressful, and downright horrible few weeks of their young lives so far.

For parents, it can be an extremely difficult period too. It can definitely be a really stressful time for Mum and Dad as well – although don’t expect too much sympathy from your son or daughter!

When parents are stressed and teenagers are stressed, it can make the home a volatile environment, so the big question for any parent is:

How do you help your kids (and yourself) handle the pressure of exam season?

Stay Calm!

You might not feel calm – or anywhere close to it – but regardless of whatever happens over the next few weeks, it is vital that parents stay calm. Now is not the time for falling out and family rows.

Maintain routines and boundaries… but be prepared to bend a little

By this point, most students – either on their own or in collaboration with you – will have worked out a revision timetable.

With a bit of luck, they will be using it already and will stick to it (most do, when it comes down to it). As a parent, it’s part of your role to ensure that your child keeps to the routine of their revision timetable. You might need to gently reinforce the importance of this. You do need to be firm about things but there’s no need to be overbearing.

A ‘we’re in this together’ approach will always work best. Now, more than ever, the family needs be a team working towards a shared goal.

It’s also important to be prepared to bend a little, if necessary.

In an ideal world, the whole exam period will go perfectly and go absolutely swimmingly. However, we all know that life has a nasty habit of not panning out like that!

A bad exam – or one your child feels went badly – can really dent a young person’s confidence and throw them (and everything) of course.

Nobody knows your child better than you do, so instinct and intuition is likely to kick in when necessary. They might need a night off or a day out with the family, a shoulder to cry on, or just a bit of space.

Praise, reassurance and support

Parenting a teenager can sometimes be an unforgiving and thankless task.

But, though it feels like the complete opposite of this sometimes, deep down all teenagers need praise and reassurance, and your complete support.

If they feel supported, they will respond in a positive way! Mind have a good article delving into exam stress, give it a read so that you can understand more how your child may be feeling.

Reward, reward, reward!

You may have seen stories in the media recently about parents paying their kids for good exam results.

Some reports have suggested that parents up and down the country will be shelling out as much as £150million in total as reward for exam grades.

Now, of course, for many families this isn’t really an option, and some might view the whole idea as simply wrong, or nothing more than a bribe.

However, while most teens will work hard of their own accord, sometimes a little bit of extra motivation works wonders – and we’ve spoken about it before here. Ultimately it can help to reinforce the link between the value of hard work and money.

Cash, holidays, driving lessons… there are many ways to incentivise the whole business of exams.

If it works for them, it works for you!

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