“She’s got so much revision to do. I wish she would settle down and do it.”
If you feel worried for you children about exams and the marks they might get, try to think how overwhelming it can be for them. Then, once the exams are finished, it’s a countdown to the results which can be equally stressful for everyone.
As a parent you can really help your children through this time, just by being there for them and encouraging them to talk about their feelings and fears. You can also ask for help from the school itself. Here are just a few ideas to make exam time that bit more bearable:
Family Lives Top Tips
- Establish a revision routine by re-arranging the family’s schedules and priorities.
- Talk to the school about what they advise.
- Be lenient about chores and untidiness as much as you are able to.
- Give them a break and understand lost tempers and moodiness.
- Don’t blame or nag them as it can help them lose focus.
- It is never too late to study, revise or ask for help.
- Don’t go in for bribes; encourage them to work for their own satisfaction.
- Schedule small and frequent rewards for the effort they are putting in.
- Suggest a special evening or day out as it could give them a treat to look forward to.
- Make sure they have a comfortable place to work.
- Accept that some people can revise better with music or the TV on in the background.
- If you do not have a suitable spot, make it easy for them to study elsewhere, like the library.
- Be calm, positive and reassuring and put the whole thing into perspective. They can always take an exam again.
Preparing for an exam
Get them ready for an exam with plenty of planning and support. Encourage them to get all their pens, pencils and equipment ready the evening before. Try to get them to go to bed early so they are able to have a restful sleep. In the morning, arrange for them to have a health and nutritious breakfast to help them focus and concentrate. Go through a checklist to make sure they have everything they need. Give your child lots of encouragement so they feel more positive before they leave. Let them know how proud you are of them regardless of how they think they do.
After the exam
After each exam, allow them the opportunity to talk about how they done and allow them to do the talking whilst you listen. Encourage them not to dwell on mistakes they may have felt they have made. They may want some space to compare notes with other friends. You may want to share your experiences of exams as this may reassure them.
Exam results mark the end of one, and the beginning of another phase in your child’s life and yours. This can be unsettling and difficult so let them voice their worries and expectations and listen out for any underlying serious issues.
Plan an event to mark the results, whatever they are and have some fun now with your child. Make it clear that you love and value your child for them not for what happened in an exam. You may want to take a look at our top tips for exam results for more advice.
Further support from Family Lives