Facing your first (or second) big exam is a major challenge for son or daughter and there are things you can do to help and support

Can I help my son / daughter cope better with exams?

Think about a major challenge you have faced: what did you need to feel you could achieve it?

  • Someone believing in you; ‘ You can do it’
  • Praise
  • Encouragement
  • See your potential
  • You needed to feel loved and valued & good enough
  • It’s nice if they ask ‘what can I do to help?’

So does your child doing the Junior/Leaving Certificate.

See the effort & learning will continue

What you put out comes back to you (Positive or Negative)

And the more you put out, the more you get back

Tips for Parents during the run up to exam time

  • The more care you show yourself, the m!ore you will show your young adult, therefore
  • Do not personalise anything they do/say – it is 100% about them
  • Good diet & exercise & get some time out to keep you relaxed, keeps the home calmer
  • Do not push yourself too hard, or you just take it out on your children!
  • Allow adequate time (get up earlier) and spoil them a little with pancakes etc to ensure they eat
  • Rushing and racing results in tiredness & overload, and you are not in a good place to parent

Tips for parenting the exam student

  • Have the food they like so you ensure they eat
  • Encourage them to get adequate sleep
  • Encourage exercise to help relaxation
  • They are under pressure, so don’t add to it
  • Believe in their intelligenc’te & capability
  • See their effort & learning will continue
  • Encourage & praise works better than criticism – see what they have done – not what they have not done
  • Negotiate where there are difference between you,
  • Pull out of power struggles as if you force a person they will resist you
  • Ask ‘what can I do to help?’
  • You can’t do the work for them, and this exam is their responsibility
  • Do not personalise what they say or their behaviour, it’s 100% about them, how they are feeling and what they are going through
  • When your child deserves your love the least, they need it the most
  • The most important ‘A’ is an ‘A’ in Emotional Health (there’s a lot going on for our teens

When learning is threatening, a child goes into Avoidance, Sickness, Perfectionism and has a Fear of Failure. Tell them ‘You are not an Exam result’, this exam is not a prophesy of your future lives. Belief is everything.

Love comes before learning

Treat your child with respect and unconditional love, not for what they do, but who they are. Their intelligence is only one way in which they express their individuality. The head comes before the heart so, if things are right at a heart level (relationships in the home /relationship with their Mum and Dad and if they feel loved for self,) it is likely they can apply themselves  at a head level. However, if  things are not right for them at an emotional level, (heart level) they may not be able to apply themselves at a head level (intellectual level) , but they may be ready to learn about love, feeling loved for themselves. Once they feel that, once they have learned about love, they are ready to learn about other things.