Top Tips To Help Teenagers With Exams
Teenagers and exams are not a good mix at the best of times especially those dreaded GCSEs and A Levels (UK). So as the weather turns to glorious summer days, my teenager is tucked away revising.
As a parent, I worry about my child going through the exam process and wondered how I could help the revision process. So here are a few Tops Tips that seem to be working for us in helping to reduce exam stress for the whole family!
YOUR TEENAGER NEEDS:
I cannot stress how important these are.
A teenager who is constantly revising with no break will reach a point where they are not actually taking in any more information. It is not good for their eyes, their health or their mental state.
A five or ten-minute break will help your teenager relax, refocus and revise better. If they are worried about wasting ‘revision time’ then set an alarm and agree that they have to get back to revising once it goes off.
FOOD & DRINK
Snacks and drinks are essential for keeping a teenager hydrated and full of energy. Little and often is the key and try not to let them fill up on sugary drinks and high salt snacks as this will not help.
A cheese sandwich or a piece of fruit and a hot drink is often welcome in our home.
You may even get some thanks but just keep a look out for all those empty plates piling up!
YOUR TEENAGER ALSO NEEDS:
EXAMS AND EXERCISE
Often your teenager will be sitting down for long periods when they are revising. Sometimes exercise and sport become less important to them especially if they are not doing an exam in that area.
It is a good idea to encourage your teenager to keep exercising. Going for a quick walk can help clear the head of exam stress and the fresh air will help to make them more invigorated.
RELAXATION & SLEEP
We try to suggest that our teenager does not revise right up until bedtime but rather he spends some time with the family.
If your teenager is stressed and cannot sleep try giving them a warm, milky drink before bed or suggest a relaxing bath.
Revising in their bedroom? Why not suggest that they physically put away their books, failing that cover the study area with a duvet cover or blanket. Something as simple as blocking the revision area from view can help them to relax.
Finally, some deep breathing and relaxation techniques can help them rest even if they cannot sleep.
REMEMBER TO GIVE THEM:
SPACE AND UNDERSTANDING
Ensure that all family members, especially younger siblings, are aware that this is an important time for your teenager. We have made it a family rule that our teenager is not disturbed once he goes to his room to revise.
Remind well-meaning extended family members that your son or daughter may not be available for the usual family activities when they are revising.
Maybe suggest a special family celebration after the exams have finished instead.
LOVE AND PATIENCE
As your teenager becomes more focused on their studies they can appear to become more distracted from normal family life and chores. I have stopped insisting that chores are done and I have added them into my routine to give my teenager a break.
However, my teenager will sometimes do chores as a break from the revising and quite enjoys the repetition. Chose your battles, is it really that important that they empty the dishwasher as soon as it has finished its cleaning cycle?
Give your teenager lots of love and encouragement.
A hug or a hand on their shoulder can boost their spirits if they are feeling down or tense. Leave a little note to say how proud you are of them on their pillow or next to their school bag.
Listen to them when they talk about their subject, even if you do not really understand what they are studying. Make them feel that they are not alone and that you are behind them 100% no matter what.
All we ask is that our teenager tries his best. Results are not that important and exams can be retaken. Many successful business people have passed very few exams.
Don’t let your child think that the sum of their existence is some grades on a piece of paper.
There is more to life than just examination results and many careers can be followed without them.
These are just some of the things that we are trying to do at home and seem to be working with our teenager as we begin the countdown to the GCSE’s this year.
If you are worried about your son and daughter and how they are coping with their revision and exam timetable I suggest you talk to the school, the school nurse or your family GP.