COLUMN: How to help your child through exam season

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The sun is shining (occasionally), the grass is being mown and the teenage population is showing signs of stress. This can only mean one thing -exam season is upon us once again.

This is not only a time of stress for the young people sitting their exams but also for their parents. We all want our children to do their best but how do we help them to achieve this without adding to their (and our) levels of stress?

You can’t do their exams, or their revision for them. However, you can provide a calm atmosphere in which they can revise at home. Make sure they have a balanced diet (including a few treats to keep them going!), plenty of sleep and opportunities for exercise and fresh air.

Ask your teenager how they would like you to support them. They may want you to be on hand to talk through what they’re learning, or they might want you to leave them to it. They might want you to arrange activities to give them some ‘down time’, or to provide additional resources such as revision guides or coloured pencils. Everyone learns differently - for instance, some people do revise more effectively with music or television in the background.

Consider planning a treat following the exams, as it may help them to have something to look forward to. In the meantime, try to be flexible and accommodating. It might be necessary to rearrange the family’s normal schedule to take account of their revision.