Whether it is you, your partner or your child that has to write exams, it can cause stress for everybody! It is unfortunately a part of life, so the only thing left to do is learning to manage stress better. This is usually easier for adults, thus we have to help our children manage their stress when they are not able to.
Keep an eye out for exam stress:
The first step in managing stress is to see the symptoms as early as possible. Signs of exam stress can be: Lack of sleep, being irritable the whole time, loss of appetite, worrying about everything, seeming depressed, as well as headaches or tummy aches.
Make sure your child eats well:
A balanced diet is always a good idea, especially during exam times. Ensuring that your child feels well and energetic when studying is vital. Try and stay away from sugary foods and refined carbs (Sweets, chips, pizza, and soft drinks) and replace it with low-carb and low GI foods. Include brain food like fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Help your child get their sleeping pattern in order:
Since children and teens need about 8-10 hours of sleep to function optimally, you should help them to fix their sleeping patterns for exam time. Make sure you start well ahead of exams, so they can get into a good routine. Allow 30-60 minutes of TV, computer, reading or simply relaxation time before bed to help them unwind and get their minds of studying.
Be more flexible during exams:
When it is crunch-time during exams, be a little flexible with chores and other duties children may have, allowing them to focus on their studies.
Help them to study:
Start out by helping them set up a good study schedule which will allow them to get through all their work comfortably with enough time-off in between. Creating a quite, relaxed study space with good lighting where they will not be disturbed is essential.
Talk about exam nerves:
Remind your child that it is completely natural to feel a bit anxious about exams, and that they can use their nerves to their advantage in order to focus on their work.
Encourage exercise during exams:
Getting your heart pumping during exams is the perfect way to relax, boost energy levels and clear your mind.
Don’t add to the pressure:
Always remember that your child already knows how important exams are, and does not need you reminding them the whole time. They usually already stressed out about it, and while your intentions might be good, reminding them that they need to do really well to get into university will not make studying easier.
Make time for treats:
Reward your child with something that they like as a well-done for completing their exams. Keep in mind that this should be kept as a reward and something to look forward to, not a bribe. Don’t keep reminding your child that they will not get their treat if they don’t do well, as this just adds unnecessary pressure.
Calm the nerves with a natural supplement
Sceletium is a well-known South African plant which has been used by the bushman for hundreds of years. This plant, when chewed, helps to calm the nerves. Manna Calmer for juniors is a very mild extract from the plant, suitable for children from age 9 and older. This product can help to calm nerves and also help children with ADHD, instead of chemical medication.
Also, this product does not have any side effects.