Birla Public School (BPS) principal A P Sharma has provided a host of tips on the topic of 'Parenting during exams for teens'.
"Examinations are again knocking on the doors with students and parents getting anxious. This year has been extraordinary with enormous uncertainty and stress. It’s an irrational fear that leads to anxiety and stress. It’s a very common phenomenon and parents also get confused in order to help their wards," the advisory states. "Very interestingly, few parents use their fear of exam as a tool to ensure hard work from their children."
The following tips can be applied to all age groups above eight years:
* Home decorum - maintain a positive environment at home; have limited screen time for the whole family; no party and unnecessary gatherings; no dark area in the house during the night; put up inspiring posters in appropriate places; only positive talk in the house; no anger zone; have dinner together; and play morning music.
* Help prepare the child's study room:
Study room decorum - adequate lighting; a routine time table on the left side of the wall; important reminders on the right side of the wall; 'Tratak dot' in the front and a 'do not quit' quote; favourite player/inspiring quote; important formulae/acronyms; no dustbin inside the room; small bamboo plant or snake plant in the left corner of the room; no empty power point; if the parents do not sleep in the same room, then a night lamp should be lit when no one is in the room; water bottle on a stool near the table on the right side, preferably copper/glass bottle or thermos; and keep an appropriate footrest.
* How to start - sit straight on the chair; look at the 'Tratak dot' for 30 seconds (place a small dot on the wall); close your eyes for 30 seconds; pray; lift the pen make a flower/pious sign; rub your palm and touch your cheeks; boost the brain.
* How you can help arrange resources - arrange last year’s question papers; take printouts of the answer scripts of CBSE toppers and marking schemes; buy 20-30 pieces (same brand) of clamp pad and geometry box; KVS, Navodaya, CBSE schools and DOE study material; Post-it, highlighters, sketch pens, plant pots, lamp and stationery; fresheners, nuts, fruits and nutritious food; question papers from other top schools; question banks, any reference books or notes available; and keep a track of any online guiding webinars.
* Maintain a supportive environment - avoid sibling comparison, or with any other student; praise your child but not unnecessarily; don’t share your anxiety with others in front of him/her; let him/her talk to grandparents for motivation; choose appropriate words for cautioning and appreciation; don’t spy on the child yet keep an eye on activities; don’t boast about yourself by sharing your success stories; keep asking about the study status and encourage; and don’t create an exam scare.
* Tips for supermoms - keep smiling and make a nutritious menu card for the child; you will have to tackle the mood swings of your child; keep close vigil on the child’s activities (help plan); help your child with revision; help manage the schedule and remind about tasks; manage a balance among the child's siblings; help maintain the child’s study room and socialisation; don't be a 'helicopter' or 'lioness' mom; and remind him/her about childhood memories to entertain.
* Be a cool dad - "Be a cool dad and control your emotions. Don’t criticise your child, rather alter the dialogue and initiate a talk with positive and encouraging words," the advisory states. "Give assurance to be with the child in all circumstances. Keep charting his/her career options and share encouraging words. Give your quality time to asses his/her mental state and try to be a study buddy along with your work until she studies." Occasionally, bring some goodies as a surprise and refresh his/her mood with interesting illustrations. "Share some preparation tips from the way you studied and try to adjust with his/her tantrums. Don’t be bossy, rather be a friend. Give hugs frequently. Help with self-assessment and speed tests, and also go through school circulars related to the exam schedule. "Ensure other family members are supportive, and meditate together. Remind him/her about the breathing exercise."