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Exams will be here before you know it, a week’s worth of stress, anxiety, sleepless nights, and procrastination. When I was a student, I didn’t study until the night before, and while I passed, I knew I could have done better if I devoted more time to my studies. This will be a stressful time for students of all ages, from elementary to college, especially if your kid has test anxiety or a learning disability.
During this time, it’s best to not put more pressure on your kid. That will make them feel more anxious about studying and test-taking. Encouraging your kid will allow them to feel supported and inspired to do well on their exams, rather than hiding in their shell. Showing kindness to your kids when they are struggling will calm them down and allow them to focus more on studying the material, rather than focusing on you. If your kid is more focused on doing what they think will please you, they won’t be worried about genuinely learning and improving their skills. Teaching and encouraging takes patience, which I’m sure can be said about parenting in general.
This patience will be beneficial in the long run for both you and your child. Helping them when they are at their worst will allow them the comfortability to come to you during other hard times. This can apply to more than just exams, but with testing being the main stress factor in kids, that would be the best time to practice patience and encouragement. Kids just want support and gratification, but it’s all about finding a balance between discipline and motivation. You can encourage your kids to do well and help them better understand their subject, while also setting a specific time away from all distractions for them to study. You can reward them for success, and also stress the consequences of laziness. Balance is everything in a household.
When you are stressed, would you rather be scrutinized, or would you rather be shown compassion and sympathy? Well, we all might be different, but I know I prefer to be shown compassion. Being critical when already stressed will allow self doubts and insecurity to creep in. Those thoughts of “I can’t do this” or “It’s too much” will completely take over. It will cloud all logic and reasoning, and make your kid become disinterested, unmotivated, and scared of messing up. Instead of leaving them in the pit of worry, reach your hand out to help pick them back up. Patience can go a long way, and developing that healthy relationship with your kid will empower them to have a stronger relationship with you, themselves, and test-taking!