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How to Help Your Child Cope with Stress before External Testing: Advices from Feldman Ecopark’s Psychologists

The specialists of the Feldman Ecopark Centre for Psychosocial Rehabilitation told how parents could help their children cope with stress before the External Independent Testing (EIT).

According to them, the main thing is not to be over-diligent in study, extracurricular activities, and works with tutors. It is necessary to always remember about health and emotional well-being of your child. Psychological microclimate in family is very important, as well as right motivation and trust-based relations. And it should be noted that all of these factors should be formed long before the graduation Rubicon. Meanwhile, just before the tests, it is necessary to focus on the support of your child, to become the main ‘natural’ anti-stress for him/her.

“EIT-associated stress is one of the strongest and main types of stress among high schoolers. Among other things, it happens because both parents and teachers aggravate uneasy situation of hyper-responsibility around this test. It is really a serious test of not only knowledge, but also of the psychological stability of a young person. And many things in the future life depend on it. People often ask psychologists: is it possible to pass this trial without excessive tension, fears and anxiety? It is possible if you accept a simple postulate: the most important people who support and help to cope with stress before the EIT are parents,” the head of psychological service of the Feldman Ecopark Centre for Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Cand. Sc. (Psychology) Tetiana Aliieva told.

She emphasized that harmonious, trust-based and calm relations in family would be the first to favorably influence the adaptation mechanisms of a child in the world and favour the successful solutions for any stressful situations.

“Joint leisure may help to build these relations in family: travelling (even short trips are fine), ability to turn on fantasy in order to diversify usual family evenings, attending exhibitions and theatres. As for the period of teenager’s preparation for the tests, parents must create as much comfortable conditions as possible,” Tetiana Aliieva noted. “It is important to develop your child’s self-esteem, to support self-confidence. It is possible to do this with simple words: “I know you and I know that you will do everything perfectly,” “You can do it,” “You know all the materials well,” “Everything will be fine.” And, of course, all kinds of encouragement, as well as the confidence in the fact that the family loves and values the child anyway are also significant.”

The specialists of the Feldman Ecopark Centre for Psychosocial Rehabilitation invite families to attend group or individual consultations to tell more about proper distribution of study and rest during the day, and to demonstrate the methods allowing to reduce stress before such important events as the EIT.

As a bonus, they offer little instructions for parents:

1. Do not forget to encourage and talk (analyze), when a child encounters failure. The work on mistakes is also very important and helps a child form more stable self-esteem and flexible system of decision-making.

2. Help your child to arrange the preparation to exams. Assess the scopes of work together (it is very important to take a rest into account), find out where your child needs help, help him/her visualize the plan of work – simple notes on the wall will help.

3. The control of preparation regime; it is necessary to eliminate overloads, make breaks, which include outdoor activities. Do not forget that it is possible to learn beyond the desk, during the walk by talking about the topics. It will help to learn and understand materials easily.

4. Indulge your children with healthy treats. Great loss of vitamins will inevitably cause exhaustion. It is necessary to learn to efficiently allocate time and ensure a good sleep – at least 8 hours a day – and correct diet (enough vitamins and digestible protein-rich food, as well as water).

5. Learn exercises to relax, including the breathing ones, as it may help during the tests as well. Even simple hugs of a parent with swinging calm a child. Do not be shy to hug and express your emotions. Loving people will move mountains!

Remember: the main thing is to reduce teenager’s tension and anxiety and to provide proper conditions for study.