Hi, my daughter is doing her mock exams soon and I’m so worried about how stressed she is, she puts a lot of pressure on herself and wants to get into college. We try telling her that these exams are not the end of the world but when every we talk about it it ends in a fight… how can we help her?
Thank you for getting in touch. You have mentioned about how your daughter is stressed coming up to the mock exams and you’re worried about how she is coping. The mock and leaving certificate exams can be such a stressful time for teenagers and also their parents. We all want the best for our children and it can be hard to see your child putting additional pressure on themselves. It sounds like you are doing a lot to support her already by having conversations with her, know that the response of being shut down is quite common, especially for teenagers.
It is common to feel stressed around exams, and a little bit of stress or anxiety can help with motivation, however too much stress can impact on performance, sleep and other areas. It is a hard balancing act! Having a good sleep routine is really important around this time, it may help to put boundaries on how late she is studying and introduce some strategies to relax before bed. For example you may introduce that studying needs to be finished by 8pm and afterwards is relaxing time. Some ideas on ways to relax can include, listening to relaxing music, meditation or some gentle exercise such as yoga.
You may find it helpful to read some of these articles we have on our Childline website that can support some discussions with your daughter: www.childline.ie/11-tips-to-help-you-prepare-for-your-exams/; www.childline.ie/exams/. We also have one on our ISPCC website that is more for parents: www.ispcc.ie/5-ways-to-support-your-child-during-their-exams/
It is important to try and stay positive during this time, give your daughter reassurance and maybe plan something nice to do for after the exams together so that you both have something to look for ward to. If you would like to talk more about this, you can contact ISPCC’s Support Line which can be contacted by email to [email protected] or by phone from Monday to Friday 9am – 1pm on 01 522 4300
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