As parents, we often share some of this stress as well! Stress can be helpful in moderation to enhance motivation and help us perform at our optimum level; however, too much stress can hamper our ability to concentrate and can lead to unhelpful behaviours such as procrastination (Centre for Emotional Health, 2017).
- Healthy Balance – Encourage your child to have develop a healthy routine around realistic study times, including time to wind-down (leisure activities), socialising, physical activity, and sleep.
- Help your son prepare for his exams by encouraging him to create a study schedule:
- Start by scheduling in all fixed appointments and classes, including school, sleep and meals.
- Look for usable gaps in your day where you will be in an appropriate setting to study.
- List all tasks which need to be completed for each subject and estimate how long each task will take. Write these into your timetable.
- Ensure the schedule is realistic and includes regular breaks.
- Perspective and the “Bigger Picture” – As a parent, try to emphasise the importance of consistent hard work over last-minute panic, and provide a clear message that your son’s wellbeing is a priority. Remind your child that while assessment and exam results matter, keeping perspective and focusing on holistic wellbeing is important. Help your child to reflect on what else is important in their life – for example, their values, character and relationships.
As a parent, try to emphasise the importance of consistent hard work over last-minute panic.
- Mr David Schofield (Head of School Psychology), Mr Sam White (previous Head of Student Development Stage 6) and Ms Linda Gomez (Director of Career Education and Development) have produced a video on ATAR perspective:
- School TV has a suite of video resources dedicated to study and exam-related stress: https://knox.nsw.schooltv.me/newsletter/exam-jitters
- Kids Helpline provides strategies that may help young people manage exam stress: https://kidshelpline.com.au/teens/issues/exam-stress
- Centre for Clinical Interventions provides practical advice for managing procrastination:
- Procrastination: https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/Resources/Looking-After-Yourself/Procrastination
- Macquarie University’s Centre for Emotional Health provides a number of information sheets for students and parents relating to study stress:
- Understanding Optimum Stress: https://www.mq.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/1178315/LOW-RES-Optimum-Stress.pdf
- Managing Stress: https://www.mq.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/1178316/LOW-RES-Managing-Stress.pdf