Anxiety, during examination time, among children of all ages is virtually universal. Except for the very innocent preschoolers, most school students tend to suffer from this problem. However, it isn’t such big a problem as long as it doesn’t reach frightening proportions and starts to affect the child’s performance and his perception of education itself.
Understanding the Affects of Anxiety?
Anxiety could lead to a host of other problems in students. The most common ones include a bout of sudden headache, some loss of focus, abnormal fears, greater irritability, sudden bursts of anger and acute depression episodes. Stressful conditions can inhibit a student’s ability to retain and recall what he had learnt during an examination. This is primarily because anxiety creates a chemical imbalance in the brain.
It has been proven without doubt that anxiety inhibits a child’s cognitive behaviour. This can be further understood by the impact of negative emotions. Anxiety causes the nervous system to function too fast or too lazily and the child’s ability to think clearly is hindered.
There are some tips than can be taught by parents to prevent their children from developing anxiety.
• Practicing Deep Breathing
Most students face exam-related stress and anxiety. When such a moment occurs, try and make them focus off the negative sphere of mind. Make the child breathe deeply by involving the centre of the chest. This exercise can be done during the days prior to a test or just before appearing in a test.
• Turn Around Self-questioning
Usually when anxiety acts up, students start to think negatively and a lot of ‘What-if’ questions enter their minds. Students should be taught to turn around the negative questions into positive ones.
For example, instead of thinking, “What if I can’t remember my notes?” try and tell your child to think, “What if every question comes from what I have learnt? How great would that be?”
• Sleeping to be Calmer
Examination days usually involve long, extended study sessions. However, parents should make sure that the child catches up on a minimum of seven hours of sleep per day. Sleep deprivation could lead to actually forgetting what one had learnt.
• Last-minute Tips
Children should be prevented from cramming too much information hours before the examination. Rather than last-minute preparations, parents should focus on keeping sure that their child is calm and revises what he has already learnt.