With exam season upon us once again, levels of tension in many households could well be hitting an all-time high.
The good news is that if your child is feeling the pressure, there's still plenty that can be done to help them stay in control, even as they head into the exam hall.
Here are some ideas for parents to help their child (and themselves) get through what can, for some, be the challenge of exam time.
1. Remember that things were different in your day
It can be tempting for parents to look back on their own experience of exams and advise their child to follow their approach to revision. But what worked for you may not work for your child. A lot has changed in recent years.
New technology is revolutionising study materials and helping children to learn in new ways. Your child might find that online activities, interactive quizzes and YouTube videos are more useful in helping them to recall information than copying information out of a text book or some of the other techniques you might have used.
2. Get outside
Even the most exacting employer wouldn't expect you to sit at your desk for 12 hours at a stretch without a break. A burst of fresh air is great for parents and children to recharge the batteries right through exam time - some outdoor exercise, walking the dog or kicking a ball around with friends, can help your child return to their revision feeling refreshed too.
Some parents find the offer of a treat is a good way to keep their child's mind alert. Knowing a trip to the cinema is in the offing once your science revision is complete can be something to look forward to when the going gets tough.
3. Keep the momentum going
Mixing up the revision techniques can help keep your child motivated between exams - whether it's drawing mind-maps to recall chemical compounds, creating cue cards for remembering historical dates, or plastering the bedroom walls with post-it notes of quotes from Shakespeare's sonnets.
Some children will badger their parents to test them on their French vocabulary, others prefer to go it alone. Encourage your child to experiment with different approaches and help them find what works best to keep them on track.
4. Ease up on the household chores
Exam season can be a good time to relax the washing-up rota and turn a blind eye to a messy bedroom. Some children will struggle with the added responsibility of doing chores, while others may prefer to keep up with household tasks to maintain their routine - and an hour off to bake some cakes can be therapeutic when the revision is getting too much.
However, if your house is spotless from top to bottom, the car is gleaming and there is a three course meal on the table, you might want to consider whether you are witnessing displacement activity - it could be time to gently steer your child back to the books.
5. Talk about results day
Your child's school will probably have told them what will happen on results day, but information is often available on the website or parent portal about arranging a re-mark, changing a subject and getting advice on post-16 options or university places. Talk to your child about their plans in advance and discuss the options available in the event that they do not get the grades they were expecting.
With a little preparation, you can help ensure exam time is as stress free as possible for your child and yourself. Here's to a peaceful and productive exam season and the very best wishes for your child on results day.
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