SINGAPORE - Exam time can be stressful for students and is often even more stressful for parents. With the primary and secondary school exams now on, it is no wonder that both parents and children are feeling the heat. However, it needn't be so, if parents can support their children and help them remain positive and productive through this period. The Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) has the following tips for parents to help their children cope with exam stress:
Be there for them
Parents should make themselves available for their children to talk to them. It doesn't have to be every day, but children should know that their parents care and that when they need to talk, their parents are there. Parents can also show their concern by asking their children about their day at school, their friends, and how they are coping. This would encourage their children to open up about their difficulties with certain subjects or challenges they may face at school. It also gives parents a heads-up as to whether their children need tuition or additional support in weaker subjects.
Take care of their health
Good health is fundamental to good performance in exams. Children should receive proper nourishment and sufficient rest. Brain foods like fish and nuts as well as a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables give children the nutrients they require. Staying physically active also keeps them fit and gives them more energy. Parents can pack healthy meals for their children to take to school, or ensure they have fruit and vegetables for every meal. Parents should also monitor their children's sleep times, to ensure they get enough rest and do not burn out.
Let them play as they learn
Learning can be fun! Parents can incentivise exam preparations by coming up with fun ways to revise with their children such as quizzes and games. Parents can also plan interesting activities together when their kids are taking a break from studying, like going swimming, or cycling in the park. This would give their children something to look forward to and motivate them to focus when they are studying. It is also a good form of family bonding.
Plan for success
Parents can help to come up with an effective revision schedule for their younger children. For older kids, parents could show interest in their plan, and encourage them to keep to their schedule. Reminding them gently when their break is over, or bringing them snacks for their next break would show children that it's important to keep to the plan. This would teach them essential life skills such as being organised and preparing in advance, and inculcate a sense of responsibility in them.
Parents should provide a conducive environment for their children to study in such as a clean and tidy room or a quiet and comfortable area. Ensure that there are no distractions such as the TV or radio so children will not feel like they are missing out. Parents can also show their support by reading or doing their own work while children are studying. This also motivates children to concentrate and put in their best while studying.
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