Yes, the last year has gone speeding by, with GCSE’s, AS Levels and A levels now on our doorstep again. You might have already started to feel the effects of this over the Easter Holidays and already started to need the Parents Survival Guide To Exam Fever.
Observing your children, you may have noticed that they fall into one of three categories:
1. The, ‘taking it all in my stride’
2. The, ‘workaholic’
3. The, ‘I’ve got better things to do with my time’
Personally, my daughter falls into the first category and I didn’t really have to check on proceedings besides personal interest. My son, is at the other end of the scale, the, ‘I’ve got better things to do with my time category’. All three categories will have their concerns and be stressful for the whole family as tension rears its ugly head, either from your child or from you, the parent.
Category 1. If your child is taking it all in their stride, has a strategy and is just getting on with things that is brilliant and the hard work is over. However, you may fall into the trap of not picking up on the subtle concerns or frustrations that they might have, which could be interpreted by your child as a non-caring attitude.
Category 2. It’s fantastic that your child is working so hard but it is important to make sure they have their down time to relax and unwind with their friends. Your brain can only absorb so much information at a time, therefore the relaxation will, in the long term, be more energy efficient in terms of memory management.
Category 3. Gearing your child up to get working can be difficult. It might be a hobby getting in the way, a boyfriend/girlfriend or just plain old procrastination. Finding a way of helping them to focus their energy levels without falling into the trap of being “a nagging parent” is the key.
As you can already see there is a fine balancing act to connect with the sensitive side of your child, especially as tension can take its toll on the whole family and the ‘not so nice’ side of you can appear.
Top 10 Tips – The Parental Guide On How To Survive Exam Fever
1. Reflect for a moment on your own revision habits when you were this age. What helped or hindered your ability to focus?
2. Talk to your child about how they are going to manage their revision and check in with them every so often to find out if they are keeping up with their plans.
3. Stay calm. Being the angry, pushy monster of a parent isn’t going to help the revision or your relationships with them.
4. Listen to their concerns and take note of their habits, sleeping and eating patterns.
5. Use positive “I” and “You seam” messages to express your concerns. This will take the pressure off them and they are more likely to respond to your concerns.
6. Use open ended questions to keep the conversation going and to gather information and closed questions to get clarification on any uncertainties.
7. Use their future goals in life to encourage them to knuckle down to work.
8. If they are struggling to take a break organise a time for their friends to come round and have a movie night.
9. Make sure they have at least one well balanced meal a day, with plenty of fluids and keep a good selection of snacks in the cupboard for when the hunger pangs start.
10. Be there for them when they do need you, put aside what you’re doing and have some quality time with them. Make sure YOU get your sleep, eat properly and get your exercise as well as them.
As parents we can only do so much. You can make sure they are sitting in front of their books but they have to make the final choice of how they are going to manage these few months of their life. If it’s any consolation, we are going through A levels and I will be following these Top 10 Tips – The Parental Guide to Surviving Exam Fever.
Good luck to you and your child.
Cath Lloyd specialises in life change coaching, training and support to manage the life you have, gain the strength to change what you no longer desire and be the person you always wanted to be. Contact Cath today to find out more about how her coaching techniques can help you be happier, be less affected by stress or fears, and live your life to the fullest, achieving all you ever wanted to achieve.
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