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Help your child have stress-free exams

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th October 2009 03:00 AM

All exams play a significant role in shaping a child’s destiny. Before that moment, most parents ask the one million dollar question: “What would you like to be when you grow up?” But as a parent, what steps should you take to prepare a child for th

BY Moses Okuraja

All exams play a significant role in shaping a child’s destiny. Before that moment, most parents ask the one million dollar question: “What would you like to be when you grow up?” But as a parent, what steps should you take to prepare a child for the exam?

New research at the American Child Development Institute recently established that over 51% of parents agree that examination time is stressful.

Besides worrying about how a child would perform, the study also points out that stress stems from worrying about how much investment parents make to ensure a child’s success.

Peter Kagoye, a child psychologist says parents can avoid stress by ensuring the child goes through a stress-free examination period.

- “Talking and listening to a child no matter what they are talking about will help them feel heard and valued. Positive communication is vital for a child’s confidence and is beneficial on that seemingly hard subject,” says Kagoye.

- Giving your child basic tips on how to revise makes them confident enough to face the examination with ease.

Kagoye says: “Tell your child that magic trick that made you pass a particular exam at the time when you thought you were going to fail.”

Point out a reason that made you either fail or perform poorly in a particular exam so the child can learn from your experience.

For instance, subjects like English language are taken for granted by students who assume that spoken English is the same as written. They end up concentrating less, dedicating less time and effort to questions and making mistakes.

- Dr. Kasim Ahmed, a professor of social psychology at the American University in Dubai, says a well-fed child has 10 times more chances of passing than a malnourished one.

“However bright your child may be, as long as they are not well fed, the brain will not recall, internalise or absorb the information required to answer those examination questions,” he advises.

- Happy parents, according to Kasim, also boost the child’s morale. “When your child wakes up to rambles and quarrels especially by parents, it creates psychological distraction which affects performance. Kindly spare them that distraction during this exam period because it will not be part of their examinable questions,” notes Kasim.

- A positive attitude is everything. Once you keep assuring your child how capable he is of passing, they will pick the motivation and work hard to fulfil the parent’s assurances,” Kasim says.

Encouragement, from the parents is what the child needs to see them through the exam.

Help your child have stress-free exams

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