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Exam Stress: Coping Skills for Kids to Know

Exam stress: As a parent, instill coping skills for kids to ease the anxiety

You’re not alone if you think that children have to go through too many examinations at school these days. From their first days at school, children are subject to monitoring and reviews of their work to ensure schools keep up with national targets. All of this, on top of all the studying necessary to pass exams, can stress out even the strongest children. If exam stress affects your little one, help them learn coping skills for kids to fight the strain.

Help Them Sleep Better

It is very important that your child gets plenty of sleep during exam season as rest can help improve their concentration and thinking process. Unfortunately, all the stress that comes during exams can make it very difficult for them to fall asleep or stay asleep. So, you might want to help try and improve their sleeping habits.

For instance, encourage them to take a warm bath before bed or have a cup of chamomile tea to calm their mind. Make sure that they don’t study right up until bedtime either. Instead, they need time to unwind so that their mind and body can relax before bed. That’s the first of the coping skills for kids to know and start to implement into their routine.

Don’t Put Extra Exam Stress on Them

As a parent, you no doubt want your child to perform well in their exams. However, don’t be overbearing during exam season as doing so will only add to their exam stress.

Even though it’s helpful to encourage them to study, your efforts might be counterproductive. So, it’s important that you are positive and reassuring to help them cope with the test stress, rather than creating additional pressure for them. Also help make learning fun for them again.

Get Help If Necessary

Every child will deal with exam stress in different ways. For some, it is like water off a duck’s back, but for others it’s a very distressing period. If you think that your child is having a very difficult time, you might want to see a psychiatrist and get some professional help.

In this case, look for child psychiatrists and psychologists who specialize in anxiety and stress in children. They will be able to talk in age-appropriate terms and let you both know about various coping skills for kids.

Time for Treats

It’s important that the exam period isn’t only about studying. Your child deserves a break too sometimes!

Plus, think about giving them some rewards for getting good marks in exams. You don’t need to go over the top and spend a lot of money on gifts either. These rewards can be as small as an extra half hour watching TV in the evening. These little treats will help motivate your child and ease exam stress.

Exam Stress Coping Skills for Kids

Make sure your child doesn’t suffer too much during test periods by trying some or all of these coping skills for kids strategies. The tips may even help your little one do better than expected!

What are some other coping skills for kids to know? Did you have exam stress as a child?

23 thoughts on “Exam Stress: Coping Skills for Kids to Know”

  1. Great post. The newer generations are in such an overly pressurised, competitive, stressful era, as parents, all human beings are. Is this truly necessary? Ahem, cough, cough, many decades ago when I took exams, I wouldn’t say I felt pressured, I just didn’t like them unless of course….. it was in a practical subject rather than theory intense. Why have exams and our society overall, become so pressurised, stressed, extremely competitive? As with all pressurised, stressful situations, I certainly hope it doesn’t blow a gasket, so to speak. I do fear, it will 🙁

    1. I was the opposite to you when it came to exam time – I liked theory better than the Math.. It really can be stressful in school, especially as more and more students are having to decide where they want to go after high school while in Grade 12 and if they don’t know … they’re overwhelmed. But how many of us know that by grade 12? Some people never know! Ack!

    2. So, so true Christy. I always think ‘hats off’ to people that know what they want to do or at least think they know and stick to it, yet again, I also think (haha, there I go again) this restricts.

  2. Great post. In addition to being a top student, modern kids need to go to Taekwondo, belle, football, and language classes like French and Mandarin. Who cares about stress? Other children are going. I do not want my child to fall behind. 😀 This is what parents think now-a-days. Although exam stress comes at a later stage, the beginning with too many activities does not help reduce stress of a competitive attitude. Thanks a lot for writing this.

  3. John Fioravanti

    Good ideas here, Christy. May I also add that parents can help best by modeling positive stress management in their own lives. Kids watch, they listen, they learn.

  4. Great Ideas here. I have to save this for when my kids are older… so much to worry about as kids grow up!! My child who is four currently has curly hair and is constantly asking me to straighten it because her friends have straight hair (starts early) anything on that issue?

  5. Hi Christy…
    Had lunch with a friend today and we were talking of the stress the children are under today. He was saying that children are seeing therapists and councillors to help deal with stress. Stress mainly coming from having far to much happening with academics but also the stress of being the best at sports and other activities.
    Maybe time everyone looks at their children and just let them play and grow up at a normal pace.

    Hugs as always

  6. My kids’ college sent us forms to order “care packs” of healthy snack foods to help students thru exam “crunch time;” full if things like granola, dry cereal, nuts, chocolate, as well as packets of hot cocoa and tea. I think this would work for younger students as well, just provide their favorite brain food to munch on-as long as they don’t go overboard, having study snacks can help ease stress and provide extra fuel for marathon study sessions.

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