Look After Physical and Mental Health
In this ten-part series, we are offering advice to parents on how they can better support their children during their busy GCSE and A-Level exam period. We’ve already covered supplying materials like multiple-choice questions, knowledge checklists and past papers during the first three tips. Today we are moving on to another vital area — your child’s health and well-being.
Tip number 4 in my list of ten is “Look after their physical and mental health.” Some of you may already be wondering what physical and mental effects GCSE and A-Level preparation are having on your child. You may be surprised, or even shocked, to learn that there are several severe and negative impacts to worry about. Common examples of such effects include (but are certainly not limited to):
- Eating disorders
- Sleep deprivation
- Greater possibility of risk-taking behaviour
An article in The Independent back in 2015 highlighted a survey of teachers (part of a more comprehensive study by the National Union of Teachers) who responded quite decisively in agreement with the fact that the culture of “constant testing stressed students.” An incredible 94 per cent of secondary school teachers agreed that pupils were “driven towards stress-related conditions during exam periods.”
It’s essential, therefore, that parents have in mind some strategies and ideas they can use to mitigate these problems and avoid the worse excesses of exam stress. Some level of nervousness and anxiety is inevitable during GCSE and A-Level exams, but you can help cancel out the worst with the things outlined below: