As a parent, of course you can’t revise for your child or sit the exam for them! However there is lots you can do to help your children get organised, stay motivated and keep calm.
How can you help your child get through exams?
Parents are a child’s first and most important teacher
Don’t leave it all up to the school. No teacher no matter how dedicated cares as much about a child’s success as a parent does. Parental support is 8x more important in determining a child’s academic success than social class.
Help your child to set realistic goals. Encourage them to go for their ‘personal’ best. Separate yourself from what you wished for at their age. Some, children are terrified of disappointing their parents. You may feel disappointed by a result but never by the child. On results day, whatever the outcome, they want to be satisfied that they worked as hard as they could and gave it their all.
The reality is that many children just don’t have the maturity to conduct themselves in this way. Try and explain when they are older and look back on this period that is what will count, not the individual grades.
Support & encourage
You are the person who loves them the most and they need to know that you are proud of them whatever happens. Try to remain calm and friendly through the revision period, rather than nagging, repeating, arguing or shouting. Help them to keep things in perspective and break down tasks into manageable chunks. Perhaps be a bit more lenient with things like chores.
Encourage your children to work for their own satisfaction, not through bribery. Schedule small and frequent rewards for effort and have some light, fun moments together as a relief from the studying. Focus on what they are doing well and use descriptive praise to mention when you notice them working without having to be reminded, staying focused for a long period etc
Encourage your children to talk about how they are feeling. Help them feel heard and understood so you are an ally not the enemy! Listen attentively to their fears and anxiety without denying them or just trying to make them feel better. Reflect back what they are feeling and empathise.
Training in good study habits
Children need to be taught how to learn and study effectively. This should be happening at school but it could really help if it’s reinforced at home. Some ideas on revision techniques here.
Help them to plan a revision timetable and get organised. Maybe you need to reorganise the family schedule so their revision is a priority and the atmosphere at home is as calm as possible.
Of course, being supportive and giving your children learning tools can help a lot. Unfortunately you can’t however make your child care! At some stage they must take responsibility for their learning and be willing to put in the hard work.
Wishing your children the very best of luck!