Exam Season: 5 Ways to be a Supportive Parent

CXC Examinations are just mere weeks away and many of us may be either parent, guardian or even mentor to a teenager who is writing these exams come May. However, we all know that preparation for these exams begin well before the actual exam and for many students, preparation for such an important exam can become particularly overwhelming. During my experience as both a CSEC and CAPE teacher, I’ve noticed that many students who are adequately prepared for the exam can do so because they have a strong support system at home. So, here’s five ways you can be a supportive parent to you child or children that’s preparing for exams.

1. Be Reassuring

We can all remember what it felt like to be a Form Five or Six student preparing for exams. Everyone at school, home and even in your neighbourhood had high expectations of you and for some this may be motivating, but for others, the pressure can become too overwhelming. Therefore, you must remember that the exam is more about them than you so you must continuously ensure that they know regardless of the outcome, you will be proud of them so long as they put their best foot forward.

2. Assist with Studying

There is no ‘one size fits all’ method when it comes to studying so you must understand your child’s specific needs and their strengths and weaknesses and use that as a basis to help with studying and revision. You can also help them to create a study plan or schedule or check work when they ask. Another great way is to allow them to teach you topics that they have learnt in class which will help them to understand the information more critically and this helps them to develop application skills that are necessary for exam success.

3. Encourage Self-care

It is paramount for a student preparing for examination to maintain sound body and mind; but when it gets closer to exams, the stress or anxiety may cause some students to disregard proper self-care. Poor eating habits can affect the way we feel, think and behave. Therefore, you should ensure that your child consumes a healthy diet and engages in physical activities. It is also important to allow the occasional fast-food so that they do not feel too restricted.

4. Establish a Balance

A student recently shared with me that they felt it necessary to study all day. This sentiment is shared by many students but the old saying still applies; “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. So once your child has established an effective study routine, let them stick to it and allow them time to enjoy leisure and other extra-curricular activities. You can also give them a nice treat such as carrying them out to see a movie or any activity they enjoy. This is a great way to bond with them and to let them know that it’s okay to take a break.

5. Be Positive

Optimism goes a long way for a student preparing for exams. Set realistic goals for your child and be hopeful that they will achieve or even surpass those goals. Positive energy at home can serve as a motivator to your student throughout exam prep and most importantly, on exam day. Yes, we are only human so we can’t help but think about the negative sometimes; but regardless of your child’s shortcomings, it will only do them harm if you focus on the negative and project your fears onto them.

Us teachers understand that you just want your child to succeed so pay attention to your child and you’ll soon realize the importance of your support. Oh, and when you do, think about how these tips can be used. “Behind every child who believes in himself is a parent who believed first.” – Matthew Jacobson.

-Nkese John

Share This Post


More From Our Blog