Help Your Child Relax Into Getting Successful Tests Results!
When it comes to our children having to take tests, it can be a daunting experience for them (and us).
The thought and prospect of taking tests is usually met with a sense of dread, anxiety and fear for most.
Studies reveal we learn behaviours of fear, dread and anxiety from others; for instance, there comes a time during the first few years at school where the teacher announces at some point that imminently there will be tests, the atmosphere in the classroom can change due to the reactions of some pupils, having a knock on effect on most.
That experience when we are made to stand up and spell in front of the class can affect us negatively when we make spelling errors or forget what we are meant to say and perceive that the people around us, or our peers are behaving negatively. We often can misunderstand their reactions (if they are laughing, that can usually be them discharging nervous tension, being highly likely that they’re relieved that it’s not them).
Those experiences can, more often than not, leave children with stress and anxiety at the thought of having to experience any test that requires memory recall.
If we as parents react with shock or disappointment at our children for not achieving good results to them or in earshot of them, or when that dreaded time where at the end of term the school reports are released, the real damage is done..these are situations which for many children feels like a withdrawal of affection.
The results then are that ‘test’, ‘exam’ are interpreted as ‘dangerous’ subconsciously thus giving rise to cascades of anxiety whenever recalling the original experience. Behaviour then changes in a negative way, and it’s not their fault!
There is also the feeling that there’s no control over the outcome and that there is no way to avoid failing.
There are of course children that are not as affected and are either oblivious to these emotions or confident within themselves to venture into the unknown. Some children have demonstrated conflicting messages by acting up, avoidance, refusal to revise, leaving revision to the last minute, even getting aggressive, tearful, manipulating situations to get out of studying, and feigning sickness, to name a few.
When the looming prospect of an exam/test induces so much stress, it’s going to impact on both psyche and performance.
frequent both in children and adults.
There are many reasons why your child could be full of dread and trepidation at the mere thought of taking a test.
It’s integral that we get an understanding of our children in general and particularly how they perceive information, because once we get an understanding of how they ‘tick’, we get to work with them on strengths and weakness, and have a better chance of supporting them with their future goals.
We also need to rule out certain factors that can affect learning and how information is processed in class which might indicate a need for a different or more creative approach in order to assist them with their needs.
These factors might be:
- General anxiety.
- Lack of self confidence.
- Not relaxed at the thought of taking tests (or a specific one).
- Feeling that they are struggling with the subject.
- Feeling or perceiving that they are behind with the subject.
- Are struggling with concentrating.
- Not interested in school.
- Learning challenges and differences such as dyslexia and autism, ADHD, ADD, dyspraxia and more.
- Undiagnosed challenges and or difficulties with learning (struggling with retaining relevant information).
- Lack of stimulus with subject/s.
- Trouble with focusing.
- Personal issues at home.
- May have failed to make the grade on previous occasions or experienced a ‘fail’.
We could look at:
- Looking at re-directing the thoughts attached to the anxiety is one method.
- Learning to relax at the prospect of tests is another method of turning the anxiety off.
- Learning to meditate.
- There are other therapies such as NLP, CBT and of course psychotherapy, but suitability is dependent on your child’s age and if time is of the essence they might not be the most convenient option
- Using relaxation techniques in order to install or/and replace positive, confident suggestions and affirmations.
It’s time to look at this fundamental feature and prepare our children for success not only with learning, but in life.
To learn more about Marie's work and how she can assist you to help your kids with the way they approach tests, contact her today!