Exams: How to support your child

Many of my clients have asked me for advice on how to keep their children relaxed during the upcoming exams season. It’s important, that as parents and carers, we support them during this time to help keep their stress levels at a manageable level.

My top tips for the exam season are:

  1. Schedule breaks. When agreeing a revision timetable for your child, it’s just as important to set aside time for your child to unwind and participate in activities they enjoy. This could be playing football, dancing, or having a friend over for tea. Scheduling regular breaks will help to motivate them and keep stress levels low.
  2. Help them to sleep well. Always get them to stop studying an hour before bedtime, to allow their mind to calm (this includes logging off from technology too); otherwise their mind will be too busy for sleep.
  3. Add relaxation to the bedtime routine. Once studying is over, run a bath for them with lots of bubbles, play relaxing music or read with them – something funny and light-hearted to make them have a good giggle (great for younger children taking SATs exams).
  4. Listen. Spend time to listen to your child’s worries. Lots of reassurance and hugs at this time will help them to relax and feel less stressed.
  5. Plan. Plan something fun for when the exams are over. This can be used to celebrate their hard work and recognise the effort they’ve put it.
  6. Avoid sugar. Try to avoid sugary foods before bedtime. These will not help your child to relax. A soothing warm bedtime milk could work wonders.
  7. Be positive. Don’t use negative language in front of your child with words such as ‘pass’ or ‘fail’. Celebrate and praise them for their hard work and effort instead.
  8. Exam time. Make sure your child turns up to school in plenty of time, so they don’t feel hurried and stressed. Give them lots of encouragement before school and make sure they have a good breakfast to give them lots of energy.

Good luck everyone – remember you are fab!

Kelly x