It’s not just students. Parents, too, get anxious when it’s examination time for their children. And it is normal. Parents want is to make sure that their child gets the best possible foundation and the best possible opportunities. But when parents’ anxiety goes out of control, it can affect the child’s performance, family relationships, self-esteem and sense of well-being. Here are a few tips to deal with it:
Understand your parent’s perspective: You might often tend to dismiss your parents’ concerns, thinking that they are always anxious or paranoid. But before doing that, take a minute to understand where they are coming from and what their worry is all about.
Keep them in the loop: Parents often get anxious because they do not know what you have been up to and what your plans are. Whether it’s academics or extra-curricular activities, talk to your parents about the work you have put in and how you plan to take it forward.
Set your benchmark: As a student, you might often get bogged down by the expectations that others might have from you, be it scoring 95%, winning a tournament or keeping up with a sibling. Rather than trying to match all of these expectations, look within and set your own priorities and targets.
Communicate your concerns: If you find that the pressure from your parents is getting overwhelming, it might be a good idea to just try talking to them. Your parents may not realise that their excessive concern is taking a toll on you.
Make a compromise: It does not always have to be your way or the highway. Have an open discussion with your parents and arrive at mutually acceptable decisions. Make an effort to meet them half-way.
Ask for help: If you are facing any kind of difficulty, do not be afraid to talk about it to your parents. Expressing your worries before them openly, knowing how you feel might just be enough to reduce their fears.
Do not let the pressure get to you: Distinguish between your anxiety and that of your parents. Do not let their stress add to yours. Talk to a teacher, friend, or counsellor if you find yourself unable to cope with the environment at home.
The author is a psychiatrist, and chief, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Max Healthcare