With exam time-tables showing up on notice boards and the half-yearly exams around the corner, exam preparations have reached a fever pitch. Exams are often a stressful time for both parents and children resulting in anxiety and panic. Most parents run around trying to relieve pre-exam stress by looking for notes, coaching classes and books to help their children. But, they often miss out taking care of their child’s mental health as part of exam preparation.
In today’s digital age, a large part of a child’s time is spent peering at screens on gadgets and devices, resulting in a diminished attention span that makes it difficult for them to focus on their studies. This has a bearing on the child’s health, especially mental health affecting their ability to read, remember and retain (The pivotal 3R’s!).
During exam times as this, children often are not able to pay attention or concentrate due to stress, anxiety, and a lack of focus. If you want to boost your child’s mental health and help them perform to their best ability, you must begin by first working to improve their focus.
Here are 5 top tips to boost your child’s focus for the upcoming half-yearly exams!
#1 Organize and Plan
It is impossible to focus without the right clarity. And the importance of planning and organizing can’t be stressed enough!
Whether it is preparing study notes or personal study schedules, a clear plan of action will help your child develop a well-planned approach towards their exams rather than go about in a haphazard fashion.
A plan that has fixed hours of study with sustained attention, followed by a few recreation hours will help kids to re-focus on the task of studying. Remember to plan your work and work your plan!
Meditation is a great way to help your child improve their mental health and sharpen focus. While meditation would substantially benefit them for the approaching exams, it also has long-term benefits for your child’s overall health and development.
The technique of candle gazing, or trataka meditation, wherein the child would fix their gaze on the flame of a candle, beginning with 3-5 minutes a day and going up to 15 minutes a day would have an immediate effect on their ability to avoid distraction and improve concentration. Do give this a try!
#3 Tools and Techniques
Using mnemonics, repetition, and recall, and tools such as mind mapping (very useful for essay writing) or flashcards (for formulae and vocabulary) go a long way in both speeding-up the study time and for last minute revision.
#4 Nutrition, Sleep, and Exercise
Food such as almonds, fruits, and sprouts help to keep the mind active and alert without causing a slump in energy. A restful and consistent sleep pattern, a digital detox from all devices and moderate amounts of activity will help create a bodily balance that in turn will help better focus.
#5 Make it fun-filled!
This is the most important tip!
Help your child develop focus by perceiving the half-yearly exam as a goal or challenge instead of a test. For example, you could help them practice sums or comprehension exercises with a timer, and reward improvements in speed with their favorite treat. If they are studying history or physical sciences show them a good documentary film about the time period or subject.
Remember it’s only an exam!
Parents often get so overwhelmed with exams themselves that the children can’t help but follow suit. Keep reminding yourself that your child’s mental health is the center of their performance in the half-yearly exam.
Set realistic expectations and build an attitude of learning and knowledge seeking in your child. They will undoubtedly perform better if they are intrinsically motivated.
All the best!