How to help your children de-stress during exams
Make sure your child eats well A balanced diet is vital for your child's health, and can help them feel well during exam periods.
Some parents find high-fat, high-sugar and high-caffeine foods and drinks, such as energy drinks, cola, sweets, chocolate, burgers and chips, make their children hyperactive, irritable and moody. Where possible, involve your child in shopping for food and encourage them to choose some healthy snacks.
Help your child get enough sleep Good sleep improves thinking and concentration. Most teenagers need 8 to 10 hours' sleep a night. Learn more about how much sleep children need.
Allow half an hour or so for your child to wind down between studying, watching TV or using a computer and going to bed, to help them get a good night's sleep. Cramming all night before an exam is usually a bad idea. Sleep will benefit your child far more than a few hours of panicky last-minute study.
Be flexible during exams Be flexible around exam time. When your child is revising all day, do not worry about household jobs left undone or untidy bedrooms. Staying calm yourself can help. Remember, exams do not last forever. Encourage exercise during exams Exercise can help boost energy levels, clear the mind and relieve stress. It does not matter what it is – walking, cycling, swimming, football and dancing are all effective.
Activities that involve other people can be particularly helpful. Do not add to the pressure Support group Child line says many children who contact them feel that most pressure at exam time comes from their family. Listen to your child, give them support and avoid criticism. Before they go in for a test or exam, be reassuring and positive. Let them know that failing is not the end of the world. If things do not go well they may be able to take the exam again. After each exam, encourage your child to talk it through with you. Discuss the parts that went well rather than focusing on the questions they found difficult. Then move on and focus on the next test, rather than dwelling on things that cannot be changed