9 tips to help your teen through exam time

As a parent, it’s hard to watch your high schoolers go through stressful times, especially if you want to help but you’re not sure how. One of those times can be the end of the school year, especially if your teen is facing important exams.

You can’t do the exams for them, but you can support your young person during this stressful time. Here are 9 tips that could help:

Reduce their household chores

Let your teen know that they have a temporary pass on their usual chores. Whether it’s zero chores during the exam time or a reduced load in the lead up, see what works for you family and offer up the option.

Encourage effective study habits

Helping your teen to create a balanced, realistic study timetable and establish their study routine could be a great way to show your support and set them up for success. Remember to include breaks and use time management tools. They could also benefit from a quiet, organised study space if they don’t already have one.

Healthy diet and sleep

We know that you’ve probably been doing this for years, but by preparing healthy balanced meals and stocking up on nutritious snacks for them to grab, you’ll be making a positive difference. If you can find way to encourage your teen to get enough sleep as well, you’ll be on to a winner. A well-rested mind is better equipped to handle stress and retain information.

Exercise and relaxation

By encouraging regular physical activity and using relaxation techniques, from meditation or deep breathing to walks and spending time with friends, you could help reduce your teen’s stress levels, improve their mood, and give their cognitive function a boost. These are all essential when it comes to learning, remembering, and performing well in exams.

Set realistic expectations

Reminding your teens that doing their best is more important than achieving perfection, and that you’ll be proud of them no matter what, could be exactly what they need to hear during exams. You only want the best for your child, but removing any additional pressure or expectations could be a big help to them.

Be positive

It may seem like such a simple idea, but at a time when your teen’s self-doubt may be high and their motivation is hard to maintain, your positive attitude and reinforcement could be just what they need to keep them going. Praise your teen’s efforts and accomplishments, no matter how small, and come up with rewards that they’ll love to help motivate them to reach their goals.

Limit distractions

Helping your teen minimise distractions – especially the addictive ones like social media, phones, and gaming – during study time could help them to maintain focus. You don’t have to eradicate them completely, but take them out of action during study times and use them as rewards instead.

Stay calm

If you’re able to keep your cool, even when you’re dealing with a stressed out and potentially moody teen, you could be in a better place to de-escalate situations and help to get them back on track. You and your teen could even try using stress-reduction techniques like yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, or journaling to create a calmer household.

Offer reassurance

Exam time brings pressure combined with worry about how their exam performance could affect their future. So it’s understandable that your teen may experience mood swings and moments of frustration. Be patient, offer emotional support, and reassure them that no matter what happens, there are many alternative pathways to get them where they want to be, and you can help them to explore.

Every teenager is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Tailor your support to your teen’s individual needs and preferences. Your guidance and support could help them navigate the stressful exam period successfully and come out feeling better on the other side.

You can find more wellbeing and study tips on our website here.

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