Also as a parent, the exam period is a stressful one. Mum and dad are very sympathetic, but their willingness to help is not always well received. However you look at it, no matter how young or old your pupil or student is, you will always feel responsible as a parent. But as studies progress, the pressure increases and your block can be absorbed by the subject matter.
A well-intentioned comment or helping hand can then be met with an explosive reaction. Frustrating, right? Don't get discouraged or carried away by the stress. Your nerves will certainly not help their blocking behaviour, on the contrary. Your calmness, on the other hand, will be interpreted as confidence and make them feel more secure about themselves.
No matter how good or bad your bond usually is, in times of stress it will quickly go out the window, fortunately this is usually only for a short while. And that's perfectly normal, so no worries. You can also let your student know in difficult times that you are there, and that they can come to you with their problems.
Look for connection. Maybe you are an expert in statistics or mathematics? Or do you find what your student has to say about a certain subject extremely fascinating? In this way, you practice the subject together without it looking like an exam.
Do not give unsolicited advice. Ask what your student needs in order to be able to cram well and clearly express your own wishes. Depending on the age of the student, you can, for example, agree to ask for half an hour or an hour of concentration and to enjoy the sacred silence.
Eat healthily. A stressed-out brain quickly reverts to quick, fatty snacks, which only serve to impair concentration. Try to avoid stress by regularly preparing some 'brain food'. Blueberries, green vegetables, nuts and seeds... A piece of dark chocolate now and then also helps your brain.
Take a break. Also switch off your parent mode once in a while, no matter how worried you are about the school results. Both parents and students need a break in time. Agree to do something fun together or let go and go your separate ways.
Outside air is sacred. A brain at full speed can use all the extra oxygen it can get. Moreover, you perform better when it is fresh. So open a window, go outside regularly, sleep in the open air...
Activate the muscles. Students are not really known for their ability to sit still. So get some office fitness in. Hang a jumping elastic around the leg of a table to give those restless legs a workout while cramming. It doesn't have to be an intense workout. Even chewing gum or playing with a fidget spinner improves concentration.
Listen first and then speak. A sincere question about how things are going provides an outlet for anything and everything. This way, you have already started the communication and can give feedback more easily. Yes, feedback. That is not a comment or advice.
Draw up a feasible schedule together. Imposing a schedule on a teenager is rarely successful. Discuss this, give your student a say. And so you both know when things get exciting.
Chill. You are doing well. Focus on what is going well and be proud of every milestone achieved. Being in the middle of puberty and having to perform well at school is not easy. And you as parents have managed to do it. Be kind to yourself and to each other.
We wish everyone a smooth exam period!
Keep an eye on this blog for more tips about and for students.
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This period is not only difficult for the students who are blocked. Parents also feel the pressure that their student experiences. Good news for all those parents: we developed a 'question trail' that effortlessly leads you to the right answer.
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