Friday, March 18, 2011

Help, It's Exam Time Again!

Tense, moody, irritable? And that's just the parents. Exams can feel like torture for everyone in the family. So, if your little darlings are about to sit exams, you'll need buckets of sympathy...

Winter's on the way, the birds are twittering - - and guess where your offspring is? Up in his/her room, of course, swotting for exams. They are the worst sort. The end of year assessments. The tests that sort out the wheat from the chaff. The ones their futures are built on. Yikes! Can't you just feel the tension and resentment pulsing through the floor, beaming down on you as you attempt to relax in front of the TV after a hard day?

How dare you enjoy yourself, they're thinking, while I am chained to my desk! And don't imagine for one second they will let you take it easy for long while they're sweating themselves into a frenzy. You've got to suffer, too.

When you were revising for exams, chances are you locked yourself away for a fortnight and got on with it. But today's kids are different. They're the 'because I am worth it' generation. They stomp around, slam doors and make you feel terrible for trying to have a like while they can't.

Your children will respond to your moods and attitudes. Be calm when needs be, enthusiastic when it's called for. Observe their moods and keep the lines of communication open. Easier said than done, particularly if your offspring seems to be doing everything in their power to shove you away.

How Can You Help

Don't Panic, There Are Ways To Survive The Stress...

* Offer moral support and discuss general issues - - but only help if specifically asked to.
* Never hover over their shoulder to check things are being done right.
* Hold on to your sense of humor. Well, at least try to! If there is an upbeat atmosphere in the home, it will filter down.
* Dish up three square meals a day to keep up energy levels. Supplement with vitamin pills if needed. (You might want them, too!)
* Lower your expectations if they are unfeasibly high. Their results aren't a reflection of your parenting skills.
* Forget bribery. It just heaps on more pressure. And finding them for failure? Don't even go there!

If in doubt, read a poem...

This is an unusual but a highly effective way of helping a teen with exams - - read a poem to her!

Words to calm

Your teen might give you a funny look if you start reciting a poem, but who knows? You - - and they - - might learn to like it. And let's face it, anything's worth a try!