How to reduce anxiety in a child before the exam?

When a child prepares to take exams at school, this is a difficult time for the whole family. What is it connected with? Currently, children, parents and teachers are frightened not only by the USE, but also by the consequences of unsuccessful delivery. 

A person, when he is in stress, loses his strength and ability to cope with a difficult life situation. Why it happens? Because stress blocks consciousness and makes it impossible to be in reality, so the child’s thoughts, when he is worried before the exam, are directed towards the future, which awaits him in case of failure.  

Stress has a negative impact on the mental performance of children. Anxious thoughts weaken cognitive processes – they reduce the work of memory and thinking, perception and attention. For this reason, children who are often distinguished by a high level of intelligence, but are very anxious in the exam, cannot cope with the tasks and do not gain enough points.

Before going to the exam, parents should make sure that the child’s anxiety is low or not high. Thanks to this, he will be able to think clearly, be able to be focused, and the likelihood of passing the exam will increase several times. How to reduce graduate anxiety – read this article.

What is the child afraid of?

Children’s fears of exams can be roughly divided into several types. Knowing about them, parents get the opportunity not only to support the child, but to influence precisely that area of ​​fears that prevails in the personality.

  • The child is afraid that he will not pass the exam.

Strong anxiety about this has a paralyzing effect on the mental activity and the nervous system. This means, when a graduate admits such thoughts in himself, most often after them he does not feel any other feelings except fear and loses the ability to think and analyze.

What can parents do to reduce this anxiety? To clarify with the child what, in his opinion, will happen if he does not pass the exam? He needs to explain that life does not end there, there are reserve days for retake and time is given to prepare well again for the new delivery of subjects.

If a child “paints” gloomy pictures in his head in case of failure, such as “I am lost”, “Everything is lost”, “Life is over”, then the mother and father can support him, setting him up for the fact that everything is not at all the same as it seems to him.

  • The child is afraid that his parents will be disappointed in him.

This is what children think if adults for a long time “fed” their anxiety with the words “You must pass the exam”, “You should only think about the USE”, “Exams are the most important thing in your life”, “If you don’t pass, then everything is lost “.

Then the child unconsciously prepares in advance for the fact that his existence in a global sense depends on the delivery of objects. In fact, this is not at all the case. If adults want to reduce graduate anxiety, then they shouldn’t equate the exam process with life. Supporting the child before the exam, parents should make it clear with their attitude that he is needed and important for them, regardless of what grade he gets and how many points he gets.

  • The child is afraid to believe that he is not capable of anything.

Sometimes anxiety leads children to think that if they “fail,” then their mental capacity is worthless. Such thoughts reduce self-esteem, take away faith in yourself and make it impossible to think during the exam. You can support the child in this case if you often talk to him about the strengths of character and the abilities that he undoubtedly possesses. Parents can remind children of learning situations that they have handled with ease and success in the past. For this purpose, you can conduct family training at home – let the student remember what character traits helped him defend the project, pass the test, and win the regional Olympiad. Remembering these positive experiences will instill a spirit of confidence, make you feel inner strength, and reduce anxiety.

Manifestations of stress in children

Sometimes the child can be very anxious and worried, but this is not always noticed by the parents. The manifestations of stress are not always anxiety, which is “on the face”. To understand that the child is very worried before passing the exam and to provide him with moral assistance in time means preventing not only failure in the exam, but also its negative consequences. There are cases when children, after unsuccessful delivery, had thoughts or attempts at suicide, “fell” into deep depression, refused to communicate, lost sleep and appetite. How to understand that a child is stressed if outwardly he looks calm?

  • Unreasonable fits of crying or laughing.
  • Decreased appetite, sleep disturbance.
  • External detachment, detachment from the real world – the child behaves as if he does not notice what is happening around him and is somewhere far away in his thoughts.
  • Careless behavior – when a graduate says that he absolutely does not care how many points he gets on the exam. This behavior should alert parents, regardless of whether he is preparing for the exam or not.
  • Excited emotional state.
  • Increased nervousness, impressionability, paranoid and obsessive thoughts.
  • Increased aggression.
  • Demonstrative refusal of help and support.
  • Fast fatiguability.
  • A quick change of activity, passion for strange hobbies – this way, children can try to suppress anxious thoughts, not think about the exam, get rid of anxiety that does not allow them to live and sleep in peace.  

What should a child know about exams?

  • Passing an exam is not the most important thing in life, and if it turns out to be unsuccessful, then life does not end after that.
  • If the exam is not passed, then it can be retaken.
  • There is no need to worry about the fact that during the exam, the pen will stop writing or the form will be damaged – teachers and organizers will take care to correct these shortcomings.
  • You should not be afraid of cameras in the classroom – they do not take pictures of each child individually, but the entire process of passing the exam in order to prevent violations during the exam.  

Parent support

Parents will provide powerful emotional support to the graduate if:

  • will pay attention to his psychological state;
  • will help to create such conditions at home so that no one interferes with the graduate’s preparation;
  • get rid of the habit of escalating the situation and increasing the anxiety of children, for example, with phrases such as “If you don’t give up, I don’t know how to live on” and the like;
  • They themselves will feel calm and confident that the child will definitely succeed – seeing this attitude of the parents, the children will automatically begin to adopt it and gradually their anxiety will decrease.
event_note January 24, 2021

account_box Winona Tse MD

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