Parenting can be tricky. While we ensure to provide the best of everything for our kids, we also should be mindful of making them learn the tricks and skills needed to navigate through life. Academics and tests can be a difficult thing for children to learn, embrace and navigate through. Especially for children with learning differences or challenges in grasping things at a speed, tests and academics in general can trigger a lot of stress and anxiety. Shame is also a part of the emotions that they undergo when it comes to tests and results. “When it comes to academics, it’s so important to mentally prepare kids, especially those with learning and thinking differences, about the emotional highs and lows of learning and that we aren’t emotionally invested in their performance or the outcome. Learning is a journey and we’re better off if we try to enjoy the process and not focus just on the end result (aka grades),” wrote Psychologist Jazmine McCoy.
Here are a few things that we can teach the children about academics and tests that can help them alleviate symptoms of stress and anxiety:
Purpose of tests: We should playfully teach them the purpose of tests – to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Often children think of tests as something scary and embarrassing. We should help them see the real purpose behind tests.
Normalise their feelings: instead of ridiculing their feelings of fear about academics and tests, we should help them be aware of the emotions that they are feeling. This will help them to address the fears.
Reassure them of their worth: No matter what results show up in the tests, we should keep reassuring them that they are unique, special and worthy.
Boost their confidence: Sometimes due to poor results in tests, the confidence in children can drop. We should keep assuring them of their worth, abilities and that test results do not determine who they are. They are worthy and unique.