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A few times a year, once during the Holidays, and then again at the end of the school year, exams come into focus for families of students. For some, exams represent a last chance to pass their classes. For others, exams can often be exempted due to high scoring grades. And for everyone else, exams are an annoying reality of school that will require some extra studying and a lot of extra stress for both kids and parents.
Many parents often feel a burden to know strategies and tricks on how to help their kids succeed during exams. A quick Google search will show you a plethora of information, some good and some questionable. At my practice, when I talk to parents of my teenage clients, I usually focus on three aspects: common sense, natural consequences, and exam anxiety.
Sense - Part - Thoughts - Days - Plenty
When it comes to exams, the common sense part is pretty simple; traditional thoughts like studying three to four days beforehand, getting plenty of sleep and eating breakfast before the exam all make sense. Additionally, a home environment free of chaos, fighting or huge changes are more likely to be a positive environment conducive to studying. If your family is moving, fighting or struggling, that will most likely have a negative impact on your child’s ability to study or perform.
Teens can often fall into an anxiety-spiral when feeling stressed about preparing for exams. An anxiety-spiral is a negative thought punctuated by worry and failure that gets worse and worse at each turn. It might look something like this: “If I fail this test, I won’t get an A in this class. If I don’t get an A in this class then I won’t get into the college I want to go to. If I don’t get into the college I want, then I...
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