TIPS FOR CALM PREPARATION BEFORE AN EXAM
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’