The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing widespread panic and anxiety throughout the world. For us as adults, information about the virus is quite readily available, but what about our children? What do they hear, and understand about the Coronavirus?
Below are a few pictures that can help you explain the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to your children, to help ease their anxiety, and empower them with knowledge about what the virus is, what is does, and how the spread of the virus can be contained.
You can also download this free PDF copy of the story here.
The above images are credited with thanks to MANUELA MOLINA, @MINDHEART.KIDS, WWW.MINDHEART.CO.
This time of the year exams stress is at the order of the day. It is a time that can be extremely stressful for parents (most of the time for moms) and their children. Sometimes parents even tend to have more exams stress than their children. So here are some exam stress tips for parents.
Exam stress tips for parents: Introduction
Parents often ask the question “How can I better support my child during exams”. There are a few basic things which you as a parent can do different these exams.
Exam stress tips for parents: Tip 1 – selftalk
Be aware of your selftalk. What do you say to yourself and what do you say to your child during this busy and stressful time? This words that you say to yourself is called your selftalk – the things you tell yourself. Do you perhaps say things like “I don’t know how we are going to get through the exams”, “It’s going to be a terrible time of fighting in our house again”, “I don’t even know where to start”, “How am I going to get time for all that I need to do together with the exams”, “I’m a nervous wreck”, etcetera.
The words that you tell yourself set free either feeling good (for example endorphin) or feeling bad (for example cortisol) hormones in your brain. You can explain it to your child that the hormones is like feeling good or feeling bad ‘juice”. Therefore change your selftalk to things like “We are going to be a strong team this exams”, “It will go well”, “You can do it”, “You’ve done it so many times before”, “You are a star”, “Let’s just keep going”, etcetera. Start today to set free “feeling good juice” in your brain and support your child to do it as well.
Exam stress tips for parents: Tip 2 – Take care of yourself first
Take care of yourself as parent first. In an aeroplane part of the safety procedures before all flights take off is, “Should there be an emergency, and oxygen masks drop from the panel above you, attend to yourself first before you help your children or any other person”. Get your ducks, as parent, in a row first by doing the following exam stress tips for parents:
Get enough sleep.
Drink enough water (plus/minus 6 – 8 glasses per day).
Go for daily walks with your children (15 minutes will make a big difference).
If you feel there’s no time, make time and see the difference that will add to a more positive atmosphere at home.
Exam stress tips for parents: Tip 3 – brain gym
Do some brain gym. Brain gym exercises are movement exercises which “switch” your brain on and make it more sharp.
For more info on brain gym exercises go to the brain gym SA site. Do the brain gym exercises together with your child before school, before he starts studying and again if he / she gets exhausted during study time. Just don’t do brain gym before bedtime as it might make it difficult for your child to fall asleep.
Exam stress tips for parents: Tip 4 – Reduce overall stress levels in your home
Change the overall stressful atmosphere at home by:
Taking frequent short walks.
Ask your child to play his / her favourite inspiring song to you and just dance together (or just listen).
Build in a special tradition (which will last for the rest of your life) like having coffee, tea, etcetera together at a certain time each night. Just be together and relax.
Hit a pillow or a boxing bag.
Acknowledge your own and your child’s emotions. Take time out if needed as a fight will cause setting free bad “juice”.
Don’t preach, shout, scold, criticize your child, but in stead tell him / her it’s “time out” time and go and drink a glass of water, walk around the house, go to the bathroom in order to calm down and to be able to think logically again.
Exam stress tips for parents: Summary
Helping your child cope with exam stress starts with helping yourself as parent cope with “exam stress“. I hope the “exam stress tips for parents” above would help you achieve that goal.
Just implement these exam stress tips for parents and make this exams the best ever and invest for the future exams as well. You can do it!
Few words can cause so much anxiety and stress than the word “exam”. The mere mentioning of the word can cause people of all ages from getting a good night’s sleep, and is some cases can even lead to more severe symptoms.
So what can we as parents do to help our children cope better with these stresses?
Below is some extracts from an article by Kerry Acheson, entitled “Coping With Exams: How Parents Can Help”. The full article is available from http://www.claremontpractice.co.za/newsletter-0913.html.
We know the following about exams:
Exams are stressful events;
Exams cause dread and a feeling of butterflies in the stomach;
Exams are inescapable;
Exams can cause anxiety, nightmares, stress and worrying.
Ways in which a parent can support his child with exam stress:
Support your child to gain more control over his exams by dividing his subjects into small tasks and to make exam notes every afternoon. Keep the atmosphere at home as calm and quiet as possible.
Teach your child to be self-aware by observing his:
Ø feelings and
Ø body when he gets anxious.
Encourage your child to catch and replace negative thoughts.
Put up affirmation statements around the house, for example:
Ø I do my best every day;
Ø I take the exams one step at a time;
Ø I can do it;
Ø I achieve my goals every day;
Ø I am calm and relaxed.
Deep breathing exercises and/or seeing a peaceful scene in his mind can be effective in reducing exam stress and anxiety. Also, help your child to develop a study schedule.
Exam stress management: preparation is key
A study schedule is made by:
Ø Calculate the available days for studying until the end of the exams.
Ø Estimate the needed hours of study.
Ø Divide the needed study hours between the days on the study schedule.
Ø Schedule the harder study times to the times of the day that your child is most alert.
Ø Review and adapt the study schedule along the way.
Ø Tick off each completed study session to gain a sense of progress and achievement.
Ø Encourage your child to have breakfast in the morning.
Exam stress management: On the day
On the day of the exam:
Ø Do deep breathing exercises;
Ø Calmly “imagine” the exam procedure;
Ø Use positive affirmations – tell yourself you will do well;
Ø If your child experiences “going blank” encourage him to do the breathing exercises and affirmations;
Ø Encourage your child to tell himself: “…it’s ok to be nervous, this will pass….”..
Mastering exam preparation is an art. It will take consistency from both you as a parent as well as your child to change his exam coping skills, and manage his exam stress.
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As an educational psychologist, I do a lot of reading, and sometimes I stumble upon a great book or article. This is the place where I want to share these books with you. You will find a link to Amazon.com where you can safely shop for these products online. Happy reading!