As a parent you have a responsibility to help your child celebrate achievements, but also a duty to help them through the stressful times.
And some of the most taxing periods are around exam time.
The increased prominence and importance of exams at a young age can cause added stress, which many youngsters struggle to cope with. As a result, they often show signs of needing extra support to either help deal with managing these stress levels or indeed to help them get up to scratch in order to pass the exams.
So what signs should you look out for in your child?
The first sign to look out for is changes in their attitude. Should your child suddenly become distant or angry towards school, it might be time to sit them down and talk about what’s bothering them.
Although this can be difficult if your child doesn’t want to open up, it is so important to be persistent and reassure them that the only way to tackle the issue is by telling you what the problem is.
Complaints they’re bored
Children often complain that they’re bored when they simply don’t understand what is going on. Yes, sometimes, “I’m bored” really does mean they’re bored, but if this becomes a familiar answer to questions, it’s time to delve a little deeper to find out what the problem is.
Try sitting them down and explaining that you’re not mad, you just want to understand why they’re finding things boring. This will hopefully get them to open up and explain what they’re finding difficult.
Sleeping or eating problems
Changing sleeping and eating habits often stem from worry. And upcoming exams are one of the contributing factors if they’re struggling. Children and teens generally want to please their parents, so many worry that if they aren’t doing well in school you will be upset with them.
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to reiterate how proud you are of them – regardless of grades – and urge them to come to you for help as you are the one who can do something about it.
If your child has always been fairly well-behaved, but suddenly starts getting into trouble, it could be their way of trying to take attention off the fact they are struggling with their work.
Children can lack many of the skills necessary to speak up and say what it is they are having trouble with in school. So if this sounds familiar, take a look at their academic work and decide for yourself whether it seems like they’re having difficulty.
Spending a long time doing schoolwork
If you’ve noticed your child is spending a lot of time on their homework, this could be a sign they need extra help.
Speak to their teachers and gauge how much time should be spent on the work in question and compare it to how much time your child is working on theirs. If you notice they’re continually spending prolonged periods on their work, it’s time to pay a bit of attention to their grades, and speak to them to discover why tasks are taking so long.
Suddenly not wanting to go to school
We all know that sometimes school can be a chore for children, but if you start to notice that your child is complaining more about going to school, trying to get out of it or simply refusing to go, this should ring alarm bells.
In this case, it’s important to speak to your child to try and get to the bottom of the problems. Talking to your child’s teacher can also help set the scene and find out if their work has changed or if they’re distant in class.
There are things you can do
Although these may seem obvious, with such busy lives, these simple signs can be easily missed. Therefore it’s important to pay a little bit of attention should you notice a slight change and look at the bigger picture.
If your child is struggling with their school work coming up to exams, there are steps you can take to help ease the pressure. After all, revising is just one piece of the puzzle.
Practice papers have been proven to be one of the best ways to help kids prepare for upcoming exams by providing them with a clearer idea of what to expect – all the while providing them with the opportunity to answer real, past questions. Our practice papers have been created by experts with many years of experience in the education sector, and cover GCSE, Key Stage 2 and 11+ exams inclusively.
On top of this, they are also accompanied by interactive videos to really help drill down knowledge and plug any gaps they have.
Find out more about our expert solutions to help your child achieve greatness – and of course reduce stress around exams.