Dealing with exam stress

The exams have started or are about to start, and I remember the nightmares of my GCSE’s, A Levels and Degree as if it was yesterday. I remember sleeping in a room full to the brim of post it notes, waking up in the middle of the night and panicking so much that I couldn’t breathe. As a parent, I’m making the most of the fact that Elsi is only 5, and I feel for all the parents around me who are currently pulling their hair out and living on caffeine and pro plus!

If you are a child or a parent who’s struggling with the exam season, don’t panic! The BBC has released some new resources to help you focus and hopefully feel better. Here’s the information form the production team…

Tension? Stress? Lost the will to live? Yes, exam season is upon us once again, and if you’re already fed up with the constant revising, spare a thought for your kids!

Revision time can put children under a tremendous amount of stress. A degree of worry is natural and can be a good thing, but parents need to keep an eye out for signs of anxiety and over stressing.

BBC Bitesize has created two Welsh language films aimed at parents in this position:  Delio gyda straen / Dealing with Stress and Rhieni – beth allwch chi wneud i helpu / Parents – what can you do to help. They can be found here: bbc.co.uk/meddwlarwaith

Here is some of the advice shared by a group of parents, GP, Dr Angharad Triggs and Nia Rowlands, Head of Modern Languages at Ysgol y Fro, Barry:

Signs of being over-stressed include: a change in sleeping patterns, crying for no apparent reason, arguing with friends and family and sometimes, but not in all cases, a change in eating patterns.

If you believe that your child is showing signs of stress, encourage them to exercise. Physical activity releases endorphins which will make them feel better and will also increase their ability to concentrate.

Keep the lines of communication open. They need to know that they can talk to you and trust you.

On a practical level, help them create a realistic timetable, which includes time to relax.

Children respond well to encouragement, so remember to praise them when they’ve worked well.

The school is there to help so if your child is worried, engage with the school.

For more great ideas and practical help, take a look at bbc.co.uk/meddwlarwaith

Don’t forget to contact your GP if you are still worried about your child.

Mam Cymru would like to thank the production company for sending us this information and we hope these new resources will help everyone to feel more positive during this stressful period. Pob lwc!

By Heulwen Davies, Mam Cymru

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