We all know that exams are for the betterment of a child’s future and parents try to be supportive during that period. Parents encourage their children by providing nutrition and motivation, but sometimes they use certain phrases and questions unconsciously that can be upsetting for the child. These phrases can affect children’s minds by making them more anxious about their performance than necessary. These phrases might seem motivating to parents but are not motivating for the child.
Let’s try and avoid some of these phrases:
1. “Exams do not matter in the long run, don’t worry”
This phrase might confuse the child making them wonder that if exams hardly matter why are they even sitting and preparing for them. It can also be interpreted as if parents don’t believe in their child’s abilities. Do you get the idea? We don’t mean to say that all children feel like this, but this is a huge possibility. It can be demotivating and can further become the reason for exam anxiety. So, let us avoid saying this.
2. “If you don’t do well in the exam then…”
How can any child predict what the result is going to be? A number of parents say things like, “If you don’t do well you’re going to let us down”, “if you don’t score well you’ll never succeed” or “ if you don’t do well you’ll never get admission in good colleges.” These things are not okay to be said before the exam period. You can try to to let your children know the importance of education in a different, more positive and non-threatening manner but saying such things during examination time can lead to overthinking. We must understand that nobody wants to let him/her self down by failing in an exam. Every child has an ambition and they work accordingly to achieve it. They want to perform well. These phrases, if repeated, can add more anxiety, hurt, or guilt in the child.
3. “You should be revising your syllabus again”
It is normal to be concerned about your child’s success and preparation. Some parents are extra curious about their child’s activity and keep on asking them to revise their syllabus again and again. Research proves that excessive revision is not required in order to score well. One must revise effectively; patterns and tables for revision schedule are easily available on internet platforms. In addition, if a child wants to score well, he/she knows better how much preparation he/she needs. So, pressurizing your child to stick to the books 24/7 is equal to burdening them.
4. “You must score more than your friends”
One of the major reasons for exam related depression in children is the comparison they receive with respect to other children through their parents. Pressurizing children to score more than everyone is like forcing your own expectations on them. Parents must understand that every child has his/her interests and capacity to learn, and expecting the utmost best results is an unrealistic expectation. It does not mean that your child should never be competitive, it only means that competition should not be forced upon them.
5. “It’s not the time to rest!”
Studies have shown that studying during exam time is as draining for the body as any other workout and even more. Also, it is proven that breaks in between the learning process enhance the performance even more. So, next time you see you child resting for a bit, instead of saying “It’s not the time to rest”, say “Wow! You’ve finished learning, that’s nice; I believe you take breaks after completing each segment of study.” This way if your child has finished their syllabus, he/she will be motivated by your appreciation and if not, he/she will consider studying before taking another break.
Exam time is crucial for both parents and children, and both have very important roles to play. The main thing is the understanding between the child and the parent. A parent must be appreciative of the child’s effort rather than pressurizing them. Watching out for wording is important for a parent during exam days as it’s the most crucial time for the child. Positivity over pressure is always beneficial and produces better results.
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