The importance of parental support to manage children’s stress during examinations

In today’s rapidly changing world, where students must compete in every aspect of their academic lives, academic stress can be worrying for parents and students.
The importance of parental support to manage children’s stress during examinations

Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh

(MoS for External Affairs and Education)

In today’s rapidly changing world, where students must compete in every aspect of their academic lives, academic stress can be worrying for parents and students. Examination stress leads to unpleasant psychological situations that occur due to the educational expectations from parents, teachers, peers, and family members, along with the pressure due to academic achievement and the existing examination system. Exam stress can increase anxiety due to the pressure of exams that affects the student before, during, and after the exam. This is an important issue that students deal with throughout their academic lives. Exam stress can have a significant impact on students’ mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, and other emotional problems due to some anticipated frustration associated with academic failure or even an awareness of the possibility of such failure.

There are various causes of stress in a student’s life, such as too many assignments, competition with other students, failure, bad relationships, constant pressure to study, examinations, future plans, etc. Especially during exam time, there are a few factors that can contribute to exam stress in students. They are as follows:

1.      i) Strain to perform well: Some children, due to understudies or family pressure, might feel strain or tension while taking the pressure to perform well in examinations.

2.      ii) Fear of failing: There are a lot of students who worry about failing an exam, which can make them feel stressed and anxious. This dread can be particularly intense for understudies who battle with a specific subject or who have experienced issues with tests previously.

iii) Absence of readiness: Students who are not sufficiently equipped or prepared for an examination may experience tension and stress. This can be due to a lack of understanding of the material, a lack of study time, or other factors.

iv) Time restraints: Tests frequently have tight time imperatives, which can be unpleasant for understudies who are not used to working under tension.

In fact, students experience academic stress because of their expectations of success and the expectations of their parents and teachers. It is evident that parents’ expectations of their children put pressure on them to do well in examinations. However, it is suggested that a certain amount of examination stress can be considered to be operative and effective, leading to attentiveness and cautious behaviour before the exams in children. But keeping high expectations from children during examinations can be a basis for exam stress and pressure and poor performance.

It is generally recognised that parents play an important role in the cognitive, behavioural, emotional, and social development of their children. In their role, parents provide children with socialisation to cultural and societal norms and values, with the aim of preparing them to meet the needs of the communities as well as prepare them for the future.

Parents also have an important role in guiding and managing the positive or negative influence of academic aspirations on children. Parents can help their children handle the exam pressure by recognising some physical, social, behavioural, and psychological signs of exam stress.

Recognising the signs of exam stress in children

It’s likely that young people won’t feel comfortable discussing exam pressure and stress, but parents can look for any signs of stress in their children and talk to them about it. Educational or academic pressure can sometimes be difficult to detect, especially in more mature children who may not feel the pressure or lack the ability to express their feelings. Here are some of the most common symptoms of stress that can be seen in children: physical (e.g., headache, grinding teeth, high blood pressure, indigestion, fatigue, insomnia), psychological (e.g., anxiety, irritability, defensiveness, anger, mood swings, depression, helplessness, and hopelessness), and behavioural (e.g., overeating, loss of appetite, procrastination, withdrawal or isolation, poor personal hygiene).

The role of parents in managing examination stress or pressure in children

If the child is struggling with exam stress, one of the most important things one can do as a parent is to be as understanding and supportive as possible. Make sure to communicate and remind them that they have more important things in their lives, and these exams are just one part of the bigger picture. Let them know that you will always be there for them, and while you will naturally want them to perform well, you won’t blame them if they don’t.

n Be aware of a child’s behaviour and emotions before and during exams.

n Build mutual trust with your

n Communicate that parents have unconditional positive regard for their children.

n Encourage them to tell you if they feel

n Inspire healthy and diverse

n Cheerful physical activity, good nutrition, and

n Remind your child of his or her ability to get through tough times, particularly with the love and support of family and friends.

n Assist your kid with choosing suitable co-curricular exercises.

n If your child is going to face a challenging paper or has already faced one, don’t forget to boost his or her self-assurance.

n Be a decent audience member and assist your kid with positive considerations.

n Maintain a pleasant and stable home environment.

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