These are the simple things parents can do the night before their child’s exams to help ease their anxieties and stresses.
As we ease into the exam period in the UK anxiety levels are likely rising for students, and their parents too. This year perhaps more than previously, students may be worrying about the true impact of the pandemic and how it would affect their grades.
Already a nail-biting period for students, a recent study by tutoring platform, MyTutor, shows that 42% of parents say their child has the highest levels of stress they have observed in their lifetime. So how can parents help to alleviate some of the pressures their child may be feeling?
We have partnered with MyTutor to come up with some simple actions that parents can encourage their children to take before their exams. Whether your child is preparing for end of year exams, GCSE’s or A Levels, the following tips will surely help to ease your child’s anxiety prior to entering the exam hall.
Read on for the tips…
Make sure they eat something
A healthy, balanced dinner will help set them up for the big day. And if they’ve got no appetite – which can happen with exam nerves – give them healthy snacks through the evening. Snacks like carrots and hummus, fruit skewers, and light carbs will give them the fuel they need. And if you’ve got the time, it can be a nice treat for your teen to have their favourite meal.
Remind them to pack their school bag
Having everything ready to go will make the morning run much smoother. They can pack their packs the night before: black pens, rulers, calculators, water bottles, snacks. – whatever they need for their exam. You can ask them to put their checklist together so they’re sure they’ve got everything. They should set out their clothes too. Even with a uniform, it’s better to have it all laid out, everything down to their socks so there’s no last-minute panic!
Help them switch off
Some teens just can’t pull themselves away from revising and carry on till the last minute. If they want to keep working at it the night before their exam, make sure their revision is light. They can revise with flashcards or look over cheat sheets. But practising a whole exam paper might be overkill and make them feel anxious instead of calm.
When they’ve done all the studying they can do, they just need to chill out. Whether that means watching their favourite show or soaking in the bath – encourage them to relax.
Give them lots of encouragement
Teens, like the rest of us, want to feel understood. So, telling them that you know exams are hard will help them feel supported. Let them know you’re proud of all the work they’ve put into revising, too. And that no matter what happens, they should feel proud of what they’ve achieved. Have some fun with a mini celebration after each exam. A small treat like ice cream or a trip to the cinema can boost their mood.
Make sure they get an early night
We all know that sleep is important, but we still stay up! To get a good night’s sleep, encourage your teen to stay off their screens for 1-2 hours before bed. And if they just can’t part with their phones, have them switch off the blue lights in their settings. They’ll know sleep is important before an exam, so they won’t put up a fight. But if they’re worried about ‘tomorrow’ they might toss and turn all night. To help them relax and drift off, have them try meditation or listen to a sleep story.
Try and relax too
Exams aren’t just a stressful time for teens. As a parent, you’re worried about your child, and want the very best for them. But teens can easily tell when their parents are stressed, which only adds to their anxiety! So, if you can, chill out, watch a show with them, put on some relaxing music, light some scented candles. And remember that you’re both doing your best.
With support and encouragement, your teen can go into that exam hall, feeling confident, and ready to smash it!