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Helping your child cope with exam stress

Exams and assignments can be hard to navigate at times, especially while balancing the other priorities of teenage life.

Girl studys on bed

There’s so much you can do at home to help your child through exam time. By giving your child the quiet space they need to study, encouraging them to sleep well, and helping them to eat healthy food, they will be able to better manage their exams and assignments and build their confidence for the future.

Look at the big picture

Letting them know that small levels of stress are a part of life and can sometimes help with performance is a great way to start, and put things into perspective – but it’s important to learn how to take time out and relax, so stress doesn’t become a negative thing. Looking at the big picture is a great way to avoid getting worked up over things, and keep a clear mind. It’s easier to perform well when you’re feeling calm and can see the light on the horizon.

Schools want every student to succeed

It’s OK to talk to your child’s teacher and their school about any issue your child is having. There are a number of things the school can do to help, including subject selection support, timetabling, support staff and more. You might be surprised by what your school can offer.

Encourage healthy habits

Eating well and getting a decent sleep can make a huge difference. It’s also important to encourage your child to continue doing the things they enjoy, and find a balance between study and hobbies.

Respect and value their learning

You can show your child you respect the effort they are putting in by helping them have a quiet study space they can work well in. During times of high study load or exams, it might also help to give them time off chores and non-urgent commitments where possible.

Let them vent

Sometimes you just need to get it off your chest! Let your child talk to you about their stress, or any issues they are having. They might ask for help, or might simply need someone to listen. It might come out angry, frustrated or confused, but remember it’s not about you. By listening and even repeating back some of the things you hear them saying (I can see you’re angry; yes, that does sound like a lot to deal with) you can help them feel heard and understood, which is important before they will be ready to accept help or advice.

Last Updated: 22 June 2022