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Parents, anxiety is bad

By Vision Reporter

Added 24th October 2004 03:00 AM

As national examinations progress, there are several ‘candidates’ out there who are not registered by UNEB. But believe you me, they too are candidates!

As national examinations progress, there are several ‘candidates’ out there who are not registered by UNEB. But believe you me, they too are candidates!

As national examinations progress, there are several ‘candidates’ out there who are not registered by UNEB. But believe you me, they too are candidates!
Did you know that if you have a child sitting for national exams then you too become a candidate?
My friend Agasha recently narrated to me the anxiety she went through when her daughter was sitting for national exams.
“I was more worried than the candidate herself. I kept on imagining what I shall do in case she did not perform to my expectation,” she said. Two years after the experience, Agasha looks back and laughs at the anxiety she sank into.
But why does examination seem like a noose threatening to hang both parent and child? Do you have to sink in anxiety whenever your child is faced with final exams?
Your anxiety during this period could easily spill over and affect your child. When you feel stressed and worried over exam outcome you might be tempted to ‘share’ this stress by setting high standards for your child. Statements like, “I will not pay your fees unless you score first grade,” or “Poor grades are never scored in our family, do not bring them here,” are very common.
Most parents make these statements with an intention of motivating their children to excel. But do these insensitive ultimatums really motivate or they simply humiliate the candidate? Some parents make children dare narrow bridges they couldn’t go through themselves.
It is your role as a parent to ensure your child has a future.
There is nothing wrong with setting goals and expecting excellence. You can do this without being stressed or pushing your child to the wall.
l Examination time is not the right time to lecture your child on your expectations or the consequences of failure. Admonition during this critical time only serves to make the candidate tense, stressed, and anxious. An anxious soldier might choose to ‘win’ the battle by withdrawing from the battlefield!
Ever heard of candidates who tremble in the examination room or choose to ‘fall sick’ during examination?
l Use this time to express your confidence on your child’s ability to perform well. Encourage the candidate to believe in him/herself. Remember self-confidence is a pre-requisite to life’s success.
Exam is a bridge to prepare the child for the next academic phase and not a cross for crucifixion. You cannot help the child to cope with anxiety if you are anxious yourself. Your anxiety cannot change the candidate’s score.
l Fear of exams is mainly caused by parental pressure. Rather than preparing appropriately for the task at hand, your child might get obsessed with the possible consequences of failure. Did you know that fearing failure might lead to failure?
l Let your child understand some minimal stress is necessary to enable the candidate perform his/her best. Excess stress or anxiety is however, counterproductive.
Just like politicians face elections with their minds fixed on winning, no candidate should face exams with an idea of failure.
View your child as successful and capable of scoring the highest grades.
You were not born a failure and neither is your child! Till next week. Avoid anxiety.

jwagwau@newvision.co.ug
077-631032

Parents, anxiety is bad

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