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How to help a child with exam fear
Sangeeta Sanjay Chaubal
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Have you ever witnessed a child going completely blank during examinations or falling sick as soon as the examination days come close by? If yes then your child definitely has excessive exam fear which can be a reason for all these sickness or blank memory. This article helps parents to learn more about exam fear and they can help their child to overcome the same.
How to help a child with exam fear
In many children it has been observed that the word exam brings a severe fright in them. As soon as exam dates come closer, these children complain about sickness like stomachaches, fever, vomiting, nausea and much more. Other than sickness few child may also complain about complete memory erase and thus going blank during examination. Thus the onsets of exams and scary thoughts as well as fears within few children walk parallel in life. Such children succumb to the pressure of the exam fear and fall sick or go blank during exams. This fear is more in terms of unnecessary pressure and demands from parents for which children have to face the brunt. In most of the cases parents are known to be responsible for such exam fear in children as they demand too much from them in terms of marks and grades. When it comes to confident children who learn or master to handle such exam fear such pressures don't bother them. But for children who are weak and not very confident about their performances may find it too much to handle.
The exam fear however is not experienced by each and every child. Few kids are known to absorb and perform well even within the pressure. But for those who get a bit anxious about the onset of exams and the feeling of standing up to their parents demand may be the victims of exam fear.
What exactly is exam fear
Exam fear can be defined as a phase of anxiety a child may experience during the onset of exams. This anxiety can result in poor performance in exam or even sickness which may make a child avoid exams.
Causes of exam fear in children
There are many causes which may be the reason for exam fear in children. Few of these include:
- When a child is pressurized by parents for good grades.
- When too much expected from a child in terms of performance and achievements by the school, parents or teachers.
- When the child himself or herself has too many expectations
- When a child suffers from low self esteem or confidence
- When a child fears about not been able to score like his classmates
- When a child has failed considerably in his earlier exams.
- When a child has scored poorly and fears for the same to happen in the coming exams
- When a child is not prepared or revised well for the oncoming exams
- When the child is scared of the remarks and scolding he may get for his performance
Symptoms of exam fear in children
When a child experiences exam fear, he is not going to come and speak about it to his parents. But parents should themselves observe those symptoms within children repeatedly whenever exam dates come closer. Few of the symptoms of exam fear that parents can look out for include:
- Blank memory
- Severe anxiety
- Inability to fall asleep
- Frequent urination
- Irritable bowels
- Loss of hunger
- Lowering of blood pressure
- Nausea or sickness
- Body aches
- Cramps in hands and legs
- Shivering of hands
Once you learn about the symptoms and causes of exam fear, you are aware of what is exactly happening with your child. If you find the same symptoms of exam fear within your child you need to help him out by overcoming this exam fear. Here's how you can do this:
Play a role of good parent
Carrying out a role of good parent plays a major role in helping your child overcome the exam fear. Once you read the above mentioned causes and analyze that it is the parent's pressure or expectations that are responsible for the exam fear in your child, then drive out that pressure from your child's mind. Support your child and remind him that he has been working hard and would definitely achieve success, other than pressurizing him over not achieving. Don't compare his achievements with others, instead allow him to focus on his own studies and support him well with advice and help with the exam preparation. Once a child finds out that his parents are happy with his performance, he will relax and the exam fear or pressure will be released immediately.
Preparation is an important element that beats exam fear
If a child is prepared well, then nothing can beat him from scoring well in exams. Once a child is prepared thoroughly for the examination, the exam fear has no place to make home within the child's mind. Always remind your child that "Failure comes to only those who aren't prepared well". Hence parents should help their children with proper preparation and revision of the exam syllabus thus preparing well for their exams.
Provide a calm and soothing study atmosphere for your child
Allow your child to study in a calm and relaxed atmosphere, where there is no pressure, disturbance and noise. In such atmosphere a child learns and revises well, thus preparing to beat him exam fear.
See that your child is well fed and relaxed before studying
A god balanced diet and proper sleep is one of the known factors for beating exam fear. Whenever a child prepares to study or revise, ensure that he had a good meal and proper sleep. Exhaustion may work as a hindrance between your child and his exam preparation.
Help your child to understand his studies better than by-heart everything
If your child has to by-heart each and every answer within his studies, then this indicates that your child has failed to understand the topics covered within his studies. Help your child with proper explanation and understanding of the concepts and only to by-heart the essentials like formulas, poems, phrases other than by-heart everything.
Provide enough time to relax
Even though a child has to attend his exams and hence he is preparing himself by studying and revising the topics, parents should ensure that their child does not get hooked to his books all the time. Instead suggest him to take some time off by engaging himself in certain stress buster activities such as listening to music, spending time with family, playing for a while with friends, going for a walk, practicing yoga and few more such things.
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