Saturday, May 01, 2010

'5 things parents need to know about exam time'

Another handy little list from Care for the Family, who consistently produce great resources for parents and marriage. Here's a couple of the 5 things:

4. Remember they will need down-time
Everyone needs to plan in regular breaks as they work or study, otherwise their quality of work will suffer. A good ratio is that for every hour you revise, you take a ten-minute break. But it's also good for these breaks to be very different from work - so if your child has spent an hour on the computer, ten minutes playing a computer game may not be the best way to take a break.
It will also help your child to build in time and space to relax. Something energetic like swimming or going for a walk may be beneficial, as exercise helps mood-boosting endorphins get into our bloodstream.

They will feel better if they know they have 'permission' to relax - so encourage them by telling them they have been working hard and have earned a break. This will help lower their stress levels. A good motto that shows the importance of getting the balance right is 'work hard; play hard'.

5. Remember to make sure they know you love them
During exam times children may feel more insecure than usual. If they know that you place great importance on their performance in exams, they may feel under pressure to do well. Help them have a healthy view of success and failure, and look for opportunities to praise character and effort, and not just achievement.

Remember to tell your kids frequently that you love them - however they do in their exams. Tell them that doing well in exams is only one part of life: there are other things that are more important - like character, integrity, honesty and caring for others.

Let them know they have worth and value beyond any academic achievement. By doing this you will set them free from the weight of expectations, and enable them to face their exams with confidence and courage

Care for the Family produce a regular e-newsletter with summaries of new articles, events, initiatives and resources. Very handy if supporting families is one of your aims. I think they've had to lay off a few staff with the debt crunch hitting giving, which is sad news - some of the CFF stuff I've heard and read has been absolutely invaluable.

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