7 ways to support your highschooler during exams

The end of January can be a challenging time for high school students as they dive straight into exams. Here are some tips on how to best support your child during the exam crunch!

  1. Take time to listen. As parents, we know it’s important to listen, but sometimes it helps to be reminded of the power of a listening ear. Allow your child to feel heard and validated as they process what they’re experiencing during the exam season. As you listen, try and remember they haven’t had as much life experience as you, so be gracious as they develop healthy coping skills and resilience.
  2. Make an effort to connect. Capitalize on natural opportunities to connect with your child like at mealtime, in the car, or while you pack lunches. During the exam season, make a special effort to show an interest in things that are going on in their day to day life.
  3. Remind them that the glass is half-full. Optimistic people are happier, healthier and more productive. Help your child see the good in their life while still acknowledging the challenges. We often forget that stress isn’t intrinsically harmful. When you manage stress effectively, you can sharpen memory, focus better, crush goals, increase productivity, and your creativity can flourish.
  4. Help develop organization and prioritizing skills. Regularly review the tasks required and re-adjust as needed. Help them set up an organized work environment at home.
  5. Collaborate on stress management activities. It’s always harder to come up with a list of things to do to relieve stress when you’re in the thick of a stressful season. Come up with a list together and bounce ideas off each other on fun things you can do together or alone to de-stress and unwind! 
  6. Promote a healthy lifestyle. We are multi-faceted beings, so it’s important to remember to take care of your mind, body and soul during the exam season. Remind your child of the importance of getting enough sleep, eating well, getting active, and feeding their soul. Stocking up on healthy snacks they enjoy certainly wouldn’t hurt either!
  7. Don’t jump in too quickly. If you see that your child is struggling during the exam season, try and offer support, not solutions. Show them you believe they can figure it out. Instead of solving problems for them, guiding and encouraging your child to work out a solution on their own can help them develop resilience. Allowing them to learn how to cope with stressful situations will serve them well in the future.

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