Do your children suffer with exam stress?
I recently blogged about my coaching experience with two 14 year-olds currently preparing for their exams. It brought up lots of stuff for them like fear of failure, thinking they are not good enough, feeling dumb and on top of the stresses of every day life, I think that makes for a rather harrowing experience. It would be mad to think that a person is defined by their exam grades. However, you would believe this to be true seeing the way some kids react.
Of course we are all so much more than our exam grades.
The pressure is mounting as the countdown to exams has begun
In some schools exams are only 4 weeks away. I’m guessing if you’re a parent with kids taking exams, you could be walking around on eggshells. Or if you’re a kid taking exams, you could be very busy revising or at least stressing about not revising :-) I used to leave my revision until the last minute as I felt I worked better under pressure. Some people do and others prefer to be well prepared.
I found an interesting article from the BBC which says ‘For thousands of youngsters, crucial exams are nigh. Many say the pressure on students should be minimised, but should people just accept it as a fact of life, asks Matthew Syed. ‘
Are exams an important life lesson?
I personally think too much importance is placed on exams. Not all of us are blessed in that department. All children have the potential to achieve something with their lives. Each child has their own unique abilities, interests and personal qualities that determine which path they take in life. Nobody really learns anything by force – it can only come from a natural interest and a desire to explore a subject.
I’m joking of course. I do recognise that it’s a good discipline and can be an excellent grounding for handling challenging situations that life throws at us. It helps us to learn to work under pressure which is vital in today’s fast paced daily flurry. Pressure is part of life – fact. It’s how you look at it, how you describe it, how you think about it and what you do about it that counts the most. I must say that whilst coaching these poor overworked and stressed kids towards their exams it made me want to smile at them and say ‘Don’t worry there will be things that matter more in your life!!’ I didn’t of course. However, I did put the exams into perspective and talk to them about what is important in their lives – family, healthy, friends, love and so on.
Passing is enough – you don’t have to be the best!
My Mum often told me that doing my best was good enough and by being happy was more important, then that would have taken the pressure off me. I know now she was right but somehow I never heard her when I was sitting my exams. Maybe that’s because other people around me – teachers and friends were giving me a different message. It’s funny how we don’t appear to want to take advice from our parents.
They don’t teach you this at school. Not directly anyway. Learning how to work well under pressure or how to make a decision or how to manage your time better. Or how to keep a secret, how to trust somebody, how to pick good healthy friendships, what you value, how to recognise your strengths and be proud of your achievements without showing off. Maybe you will learn some of it from your parents, grand parents or friends and family. Or you can learn it with me.
To help your kids get through their exams, there is 20% off all child coaching packages throughout May
The journey of a thousand miles starts by trying a different approach. So if your kids would like some help with their exams or anything else in life that seems to be a little troublesome, I’d love to help.
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