Nikita shares with us the ways she helped her daughter to cope in the lead up to her exams.
My 7 year old daughter is in year 3 and going through the exam panic.
As a parent, I support the idea of assessing children regularly and the progress of testing children to see if they are in the right age group academically as I feel this makes a great difference to their performance and confidence in the school environment. In my opinion, it all depends on how exams are handled at home and in school during preparation.
I realised my daughter was starting to panic so discussed her worries and concerns with her to pin point the subjects that she needed help on. (I tried to ignore my own worries... Might this cause her unnecessary, negative stress in the long run? Is it too early? Etc...) But as I spoke to different parents, they confirmed this is just part of the education and school process.
I reminded my daughter the way she was feeling was a good, natural sign that shows she's motivated and wants to do her best but she should also have fun while revising. I was impressed by the school support, this week they brought in new playground equipment which my daughter was very pleased and excited about. I think the school noticed the kids were under pressure and handled it really well.
I came up with the following ways in which she could learn to manage her own stress levels while I took a back seat but still supported her:
- Spending as much time as possible outdoors (which she loves) and playing with her friends. By the time we get home, she's actually rushing to get to her study table to start revising without me asking her to.
- I've assisted her in creating a study plan i.e.: time, subjects, etc..
- Once I realised it's the word problems she struggles with, I came up with interactive activities to help her visualise the problem and help her to understand them.
- She has been amazing and proactive, coming forward willingly to ask for help and to be tested (youtube educational videos have been a massive help).
- With her afterschool drama performance show coming up, she's been recording herself and gathering the family to show us her final work. I've realised letting her transform into character and generally have fun, helps her to focus her mind and shift any negativity or stress into positive energy.
- She's been excising her breathing techniques to help in times of severe stress, and being a keen swimmer, regular trips to the pool help to release all tension in her body.
For the past three days we've been going for a 10 minute run before bed and I've noticed an improvement in her sleep and she's been waking up on her own at 5am. It depend on the child, as my daughter is an active girl and loves being outdoors, these are the methods that work for her but it wasn't always that straight forward. The beginning was a challenge, I was trying to find different study and relaxing techniques that worked for her... there were misunderstandings and tears but we persisted and have now found the things that work.