Exams are looming… SIGH. I hate this time of year. Why do they have to do exams anyway?? Seriously? I think the damage done in families at this time of year – especially high school kid families – is so not worth it!
The stress is just too much… for me! Never mind the kids. I have one who couldn’t actually give a hoot – which is very stressful. For me. And then the other one is all over the place because the anxiety of it all is making him malfunction. It’s his first exam session ever. And all the hype at school about it is causing him to short circuit. He is totally disorganised, and like an energiser bunny at the moment. And he is not a hyperactive kid!! It’s just too much for me. I want to run away and quite frankly, take them with me!
So how do we do it? Part of me wants them to do it their way – and probably fail or scrape through by the skin of their teeth. But part of me wants to control it all – make sure they are totally ready and going to succeed and be proud of their accomplishments. So where is the middle ground?
I’m the parent coach, right? I have all the answers, right?
Except right now I don’t feel like I do. I feel like I am not doing enough at all! The panic has set in.
Professional me wants to stay calm. Wants to be motivating and encouraging.
Wants to feed them brain food and ensure they have enough sleep… but non-professional me, plain old mom, wants to tear my frikking hair out!!
I want to force them to study. I want to threaten them with threats that will give them nightmares for the rest of their lives… or at least require copious amounts of therapy to get over. I want to scare the living daylights out of them – fears of homelessness and menial jobs. I want to make them do past paper after past paper, and test after test. I want to make them recite the work until they know it off by heart.
I want them to care as much as I do. I just want them to do well!!
Mostly .. I just want exams to disappear.
It’s exhausting and draining and leaving me feeling like I am just not enough. Not enough people. Not enough time. Not enough capacity. I just feel like there is not enough of me to spread around between all my kids… not enough of me to ensure they understand everything and know everything… not enough of me to cook those brain boosting meals and make super-food smoothies and give them all the things they need.
I am counting down the days until exams are over. In wine bottles.
This too shall pass…right? Until the next exam session. And the next. And the next.
For eight more years…
I hate exams…
HELPFUL DO’S AND DON’TS FOR PARENTS DURING EXAMS
Stop nagging criticising and comparing
Stop pressurising and complaining
Stop spoon feeding them
Stop punishing them
Stop focusing on results only
Make a quiet, uncluttered area to study in
Help them plan their study schedule
Encourage a routine, enough sleep, healthy food, breaks
Help them get organised so they feel on top of things (pack bag night before etc.)
Go through past papers with them
Boost their self-confidence & discuss negative self-talk