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A Note To Parents For Handling Exam Stress

Exam season is up here and families are under stress. Last week I was there at my in-law's place. My nephew is going to sit for class 10th exam this year. And almost everyone in the family is worried "Aayush ka 10th hai es baar.." On the day of Sankranti, my nephew, Aayush was enjoying the kite flying. Call it ignorance or over-excitement, he climbed over the topmost story of the house where only the water tank is placed. And while chasing the kites, he fell down. Fortunately, he did not get much of injuries. Still, his right-hand suffered a hairline fracture. He got a temporary bandage for a month. Aayush was able to move his hand. The whole month went in pressure. At one end where I found Aayush chilling even with his temporary plaster, his mother (my sister-in-law) and his grandparents (my in-laws) were extremely nervous. It was the high time when school and tuitions start revisions and last minute preparation for the board exams. And Aayush was not able to write. His right hand had a plaster.

After a month, now Aayush is free from plaster. He has started going to school and tuition. He is able to ride his cycle and do his own chores. Still, the exam pressure is driving everyone crazy except Aayush. You get it? No? Let me tell you. During exam season, we often find kids under pressure. I feel, parents undergo far more pressure than kids, in some households, where results are a matter of life and death. It's not literally death, but yes in families where kids are ignorant and poor in studies, parents feel even more pressure when exams come over.

The other issue is when kids go into distress when they get poor marks in the result. Every year, around exam time, we find newspapers full of news proclaiming the death of pre-teens who decided to end her life because they were too afraid to go back to her family with their marks. Studies say nearly 2000 students commit suicide in India every year because of the fear of results. Families play a vital role in preparing kids for exams. Some families where mistakes are not allowed, NEVER allowed, kids take such actions. However, if families can create an environment where kids can grow without overpressure and suppression of marks, they feel safe and perform better.

My son is still to go school so I myself have no experience as a parent. But, my parents handled this ever existent exam pressure very intelligently. Never in my life, I found my parents forcing me to studies. I did when I felt like doing it. And I have always been a good scorer. I was a college topper in graduation second year and my overall academic record is also very decent. Credit goes to my parents. At one hand where I was trying my best and giving my 100%, my family created a proactive and safe environment for me. There was no pressure on waking up early for studies. There was no restriction on sitting with books for a certain number of hours every day.

When I got lesser marks in my 10th board, I closed myself in my room thinking it is a matter of shame for me and my parents. Howbeit, it was my family who stood by me. Although I got 69% marks that were okay, still I felt it was a loss of face. My mother supported me so much that time. She tried every way to break my shell and prepare me for outside world. I understood that when my family had no issue with my marks, why I should bother other's comment and jokes!! I sailed through the time and again secured good marks in 12th board.

Talking about stress and pressure is very important. Many times a child may not know how to explain his nervousness. It is the responsibility of parents to initiate the talk that can help child vocalize his/her anxiety. And it is also crucial that child could sense the confidence of parents about the matter. If parents express their worries about exams every now and then, kids can go in deeper thrust.

Applying some stress buster techniques can help kids handle the duration of exams. Cook their favorite meal. Get them new stationary and clothes. Treat them on weekends. Being cooped at home all day is the worst thing that kids face. So, take them out for a walk or for an ice cream treat.

There could be many tips and pointer to deal with exam stress. Like; make sure kids are eating well, they are sleeping sufficiently. For me, creating a safe and supportive environment is the most valuable and standing out point. It is not only for the span of exams, building a supportive environment starts from the day one of the school. Make some space for mistakes and fewer scores. Stand by your kids and let them feel safe under the love of family umbrella.


This post is for #MONDAYMOMMYMOMENTS and linked with Deepa and Amrita.

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