Parents, do not lecture your child about studying a day before the exam. Instead, make sure that they are not stressed and ready to take their examinations.
“It is the parent’s responsibility to handle situations correctly, especially when the exams are all set to begin. Often parents lecture children on their expectations on the child’s performance. What follows is heightened anxiety levels in children,” said Dr Samir Parikh, chief of department of mental health and behavioural sciences at Max Healthcare.
“To avoid tension, a parent should make sure that they show confidence in their child and try to maintain a calm atmosphere at home. They should make exam time seem like any other time of the year,” he said.
Psychiatrists said that it was normal for every parent to want to bring out the best in their child, but they should be careful not to overburden their child with their own unfulfilled desires in the process.
“Sometimes, it the unfulfilled ambition of the parents but most times it is a concern for the child’s future. Parents should understand that a good future or high income is not dependent on academic results,” said Dr S Sudershanan, senior consultant, psychiatry, at Rockland and BL Kapur Hospitals.
“Parents should stop comparing their child’s performance with anyone else — friends or family achievers. Making comparisons often adds to the pressure and is a form of emotional blackmail,” Sudershanan said.
Test-taking anxiety or stress is very common among students. It can be very distressing and sometimes debilitating. Often students find they get good grades throughout the year, but come exam time and their grades drop. This could be because of either poor exam preparation techniques and/or stress levels becoming too high.
Since stress during exams presents as acute anxiety and associated problems, it can be a cause of tremendous concern.
“For parents, it is imperative to encourage the child, to talk about their anxieties and help them get over it by boosting their confidence,” advised Dr Jitendra Nagpal, senior physiatrist at Moolchand Medicity.
“Parents should assure and reassure their child that exams are definitely not the end of the world,” Nagpal said.