Exam season is here and that can only mean one thing: a very STRESSED household! For the next few weeks, teenagers will be up to their necks in books and papers while you walk around on egg shells for fear of setting them off.
However, rather than sitting there wishing them to do well (or for it to be over), there are plenty of things you, as a mum, can do to help them cope a little better; from cooking them dinner to preparing their clothes every little helps.
If your youngster is set to sit their Junior or Leaving Certificate exams tomorrow, the following eight things will help you feel like you are doing something.
1. Make a healthy packed lunch for them
A packed lunch will be needed, especially if they have two exams on in one day - fill it with exam-friendly food like chicken wraps, smoothies, nuts, fruit and vegetables.
2. Write a checklist of what they need for their first exam
It is very easy to forget that much-needed protractor when you’re head is a bundle of stress - write down a list of what they need and get them to tick if off the night before.
3. Make sure they get a good night’s sleep
It is important you don’t let your child stay up late to fit in some last minute cramming – they will be too tired to concentrate tomorrow. Encourage them to stop studying early in the evening and to go for a walk to wind down – dinner, shower and early bed is what they need, not a night of study.
4. Don’t constantly ask them if they’re ready
Asking your son or daughter over and over again if they feel ready for tomorrow’s exam is NOT going to help them. In fact, it will make them panic that they haven’t done enough which is counter-productive.
5. Don’t mention grades, points or college
They need to focus on the task at hand which is tomorrow’s exam not how many points or how many As they need.
6. Don’t make your own stress show
Of course you are going to be feeling very stressed – it is perfectly natural – but just make sure you don’t let your teen see you panicking. They will already be stressed enough as it is without you adding to their worries.
7. Prepare a good breakfast for them
If you are not going to be there the morning of their exam, do lay out their breakfast the night before: a banana, cereal bars and/or porridge is a good idea for energy and they are also easy to eat on the way if they are running late.
8. Know their exam schedule
Do make sure you know your child’s exam schedule so that someone always knows what exam hall they have to be in and when. The last thing you want is for them to arrive late because they got mixed up with dates and locations.