Exams can be stressful – nothing new in that. But how often do you read about the impact on parents? Just in case you’re a first timer, here’s our guide to surviving… (Or you can just dip out and go shopping…)
1. Exams? Be nice:
Our teenagers are often much maligned – but right at the time their bodies are going through enormous changes, we put them through a stressful time with exams and make them get up early to do so – this is physically counter-intuitive to the teenage brain, joking apart. When they are horrible, they are stressed. Be nice – its not easy.
2. Learning Environment:
This is a few weeks of life which are stressful – for everyone. Now and again I have to remind myself that the person going through it most of all, is the one taking exams. It’s not all about me. Revision means learning at home, which has to function as a classroom. What does my little Geologist need? Quiet? Space? A table or desk? Piles of books? Their choice of music in the background? It’s not for long.
3. Time Off
They may re-discover the trampoline. Or Breaking Bad. Or running. Or Facebook. Everyone needs a bit of downtime from revising for exams – its all relative after all. What’s yours? Quick run? A novel? #Wineoclock? All relative.
4. Heavy Schedule
They may need more lifts and help to get them to exams on time. Traffic may be heavy. Behind every successful student is a support crew. What can I do to keep them on the road?
5. Be Mindful
Take time out for a few minutes. Lie down or sit on a chair. Bring attention to breathing. Notice distractions but bring focus gently back to the breath. Repeatedly. Phew. Thats better, for them and you.
Food and water gets pretty important for eveyone right now – see our guide to A* Eating for exams, coming very soon!
7. When the Going Gets Tough – Go Shopping:
The food list gets longer and more frequent but now is not the time to run our of loo paper or toothpaste either. Or supplies for the pencil case, a clear water bottle – and spare? Keep your fuel tank topped up?
8. Don’t Compete?
If I don’t have to train for a marathon, get tipsy on a tuesday, give up smoking, go on a diet, divorce, move house, have a baby… I won’t. Stressed children and teenagers are enough already. Exam Baby, I’m at your service. Another snack? A lift? Test you on your vocab? Hugs? Of course. No problem. Roll on Glastonbury – lets all go wild in the country – when its all over!!
9. 7 Ps
We’ve talked before about the importance of planning. It may be late in the day, but acknowledging that May and June are dominated by exams is key. They need to revise. I need to parent. Simple – but not easy. Its not for long.
Everyone needs it and its a great antidote to stress. Back to basics: get as much of it as you can, when you can!