The first tip that parents should implement to help their children combat stress is to ascertain if the stress is real or imagined. If your child is going through the pressures of the year 12 exam periods, it is likely that their stress will be real. However, anxiety in children is common and can often be disproportionate. As a parent, it is your job to remind them to keep perspective and practice stress management. Exams and their results are not the end of the world and do not deserve to cause debilitating stress. Remind your child that their lives are far bigger than just an exam period and balancing their study with socialising and hobbies can assist with stress relief as natural remedies for anxiety.
Similarly, communication is key. It is imperative to keep lines of communication open during stressful periods of your child’s school experience. This ensures that they can reach out as and when they need with honesty. Subsequently, you should respond compassionately to whatever they choose to disclose. This shows children that their honesty will be rewarded rather than berated, encouraging them to keep lines of communication open and confide their symptoms of stress with you.
It is likewise important to set realistic expectations for your child. Rather than stressing that they must achieve the ATAR result of 99.95, express that you are happy and proud of them with whatever result they may achieve as long as they have tried their best. This ensures that your child’s sole source of motivation will not stem from a desire to please you as a parent, but rather from a healthier place of self-incentivisation. It is crucial that you express unconditional love and support for your child during times of stress. Phrases such as “I’m proud of you no matter what” can greatly alleviate the stress your child may face in regards to their exam performance and results.
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