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Exam stress

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Exam stress will affect most teens and GCSE’s, NVQs, A Levels and AS Levels are words that can strike fear into the heart of teenagers. Exam periods will undoubtedly be the most stressful of times for teenagers and families alike. Course work, revision, worrying about grades, comparing themselves to their friends, and living up to parents’ expectations, all adds to the pressure a teen feels and as a parent, we want to support our children and help them achieve their full potential while ensuring their stress levels are under control.

Keep an eye on them

When your child is approaching exam periods, look out for signs of stress in them. Loss of appetite, irritability, headaches, stomach ache, inability to sleep and weight loss can be signs of stress and if your child is displaying these, you should chat to them about their work and find ways of helping them to cope. If your child is really struggling with stress, you might want to chat to their teacher explaining your concerns and ask for advice or strategies they could discuss to help with revision in order to reduce stress levels.

Get a good night’s sleep

Some teens think that staying up till the small hours and cramming will help performance in exams, but this isn’t true. A good nights’ sleep with aid concentration and improve thinking, so help them plan their revision in advance so that the night before an exam, they can wind down and get an early night. Plenty of sleep during the weeks leading up to exams will also help your child retain information and help aid revision. The same applies to exercise, it can help relieve stress and keep them fit and healthy. Allow them time to go for a run, play a game of football with friends or take a walk after or before a revision session.

Eat wellexam stress

Making sure your child eats well is vital during exam times and for their general health. A balanced and nutritional diet will have a greater positive impact on their health and ability to focus than a diet of food high in fat, sugar and caffeine. Don’t be tempted to supply them with the popular energy drinks in the hope it will give them a boost and keep them awake longer. Sugar and caffeine can make children hyperactive, moody and irritable.

Give space

While you can’t take their exams for them, you can help your child study. Ensure they have a comfortable and quiet place for revision where they won’t be distracted by the television or other siblings. Help them draw up a revision timetable or make up revision cards and try and be more flexible with their chores around the house. A messy bedroom or dishwasher that hasn’t been loaded will probably be the last thing on their mind, so give them some breathing space and let them concentrate on revision.

Everyone goes through it

Feeling nervous about exams is normal and for some, the added nerves can boost performance. Remind them that all their friends will be feeling exactly the same and that if they have revised well, they will have the knowledge to take them through to their exams. The last thing you should do is add to the pressure and put the fear of God into them. Let them know that failing isn’t the end of the world and that you only want them to do their best. Keep things into perspective and remember they can always re-sit or look into alternative educational or vocational options if they don’t do as well as they’d hoped.

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About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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