Exam stress! How to help your child stay calm during the revision period

Dr Mark Winwood NEWIn the run up to exams, many mums and dads witness the strain of revision pressure as children gear up to the final push. From anticipation to anxiousness, the revision period can present a mix of emotions among children and parents alike. However, it’s important to support your child in the best way you can – which includes keeping them healthy and helping them cope with stress in the build up to exam time. Here, Dr Mark Winwood, Director of Psychological Services for AXA PPP healthcare, reveals how parent can help their children through this school peak,

“Pressure on students to succeed is unrelenting these days, with fierce competition for university and school places compounded by the stress of uncertainty associated with the wait for exam results. Below are some ways to help your children maintain a balanced perspective:

  • Forward plan – sit down with them to work out their revision time table. Make reasonable goals that are achievable and will encourage them to continue to revise in the coming weeks.
  • Keep things in perspective – remind them that difficult situations can be overcome and will undoubtedly pass over time. If they don’t feel they’re on track to get the grades they want, help them to keep an open mind. They might be in a better position than they think and, of course, there are always options to re-take the exams or consider unexplored education, career or life opportunities.
  • Keep positive – it is natural to worry and over think things but keeping positive around your child will help reassure them and stop them from dwelling on the negative.
  • Keep active – encourage them to take breaks from revision to socialise with friends and enjoy activities to keep their minds fresh and free from persistent worry.
  • Eat & sleep well – As a parent you are well placed to encourage them to eat well during periods of pressure to help to build resilience and, in turn, help to lessen the impact of stress or anxiety. And spend time with them in the evenings to see how they’re feeling and encourage them to relax before they go to bed so that they have a good night’s sleep.

As a final thought, whilst exam time can – and often does – come with worry, don’t forget it can end with surprise and success! If your child has done their best, then hopefully they’ll get a satisfying result.”

Find more tips and tricks on helping your child with exam stress, or spotting the signs of stress and anxiety in your child, on the AXA PPP healthcare website.

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