This week I’ve had the amazing experience and privilege to supervise students during their Higher School Certificate so I’d like to share with you some tips on how to stop kids stressing over exams.
From what I witnessed for the most part, is that many parents are placing ridiculous pressure on their kids and some teachers as well.
Whilst I’m all about getting the message across that hard work and commitment will lead you to achieve what you set your mind to, I’m also about balance and priorities.
Fortunately in this day and age, there are many pathways for kids to enroll in courses or career paths they want, even if they don’t achieve the appropriate entry score on their first go.
Ask yourself what’s more important, bombarding your kids with fear tactics, threats and pressure over one set of exams which will not define them, or supporting and encouraging them through the process so that you don’t end up nursing a broken spirit and having to help them through depression.
The answer is a no brainer to me.
We constantly hear the youth of today being criticised; too much social media, they have it too easy, they don’t know what real hard work is, they don’t have anything to stress about blah blah blah. Well, we parents created that world for them. How many toddlers do you see babysat by iPads and TVs? This is the world they live in, just because we can see that their problems may not be that serious, doesn’t mean it’s not serious to them. Help them to put it into perspective.
As the students entered the room, I saw the great energy of youth, wide eyed and ready to take on their exams before entering the “real world”. Deep down I could see the fear, the anxious thoughts; “what if I fail”, “ have I studied enough”, “my parents will kill me if I don’t do well” etc.
I had a quick chat with a couple of the students outside, nervously waiting. I mentioned that all their hard work led them to this day and that they would do well. That 1 exam will not define who they are, the person they will become nor the career they choose. That they will achieve whatever they want to achieve, as long as they worked hard and put their passion and energy into it.
I replied that his parents loved him and only wanted the best for him. Sadly, I could see he already felt deflated by their pressure.
Parents, do you realise that all kids want, is to make you proud?
They fear failure so much because of how you will react.
Then you wonder why they stress so much when the people they look up to the most are threatening them about results?
With suicide being one of the highest causes of death in 15-25 year olds, it doesn’t take much to tip them over the edge, when suffering with their mental health issues.
Kids need support and compassion.
Sure, firmness is required to keep them on track, but balance is also required.
Look for signs in the mental health of your child, talk to them and give them the skills they need to cope knowing that they will always have your full support as they journey through life.
I’ve attached some great reading material so click on the image to learn more.
Next week I’ll share with you how I stop my kids stressing over exams and tough times so click here to subscribe to my blog.
Look Feel Live Your Best and Decide Today to Live for Tomorrow