Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SCHOOL REPORT -

Be­fore the day of the exam, sit your child down and talk to them about stress.

It goes back to a re­sponse we de­vel­oped as cave men; when we feel un­der threat we have a ‘stress re­sponse’, which has a pow­er­ful phys­i­cal and emo­tional im­pact.

Ask your child how it af­fects them.

Some­times it is help­ful to draw an out­line of the body, and your child can mark on it where they feel stress.

On the day be­fore the exam re­mem­ber that ex­er­cise gets rid of stress – it burns off chem­i­cals such as cor­ti­sol, and in­creases lev­els of the chem­i­cals that help to reg­u­late emo­tions, such as sero­tonin.

Try to en­cour­age your child to do a burst of ex­er­cise, for ex­am­ple walk­ing around the block, do­ing a few laps of the gar­den, run­ning up and down­stairs for 10 min­utes, go­ing swimming or bounc­ing on a tram­po­line.

Or­gan­ise some­thing fun in the day­time or evening be­fore the exam to give your child’s mind and body a break from stress. car­bo­hy­drates (such as por­ridge oats), which pro­vide a steady re­lease of en­ergy.

Once your child gets to school, en­cour­age deep breath­ing (about six seconds for each breath in and out), which will slow the stress re­sponse and pre­vent panic.

It can also help to have a treat or re­ward planned when your child gets home.

On the day of the exam, give them a good break­fast. The brain needs fuel to keep it calm and fo­cused.

Be­lieve it or not, if we don’t eat proper meals the brain thinks the body is starv­ing and this some­times sets off stress chem­i­cals in the body.

The best kind of fuel for the body on the day of an exam is pro­tein and/or ‘com­plex’

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