That Parent Life-Staying Strong

7 ways to help children stay healthy for the examinations.

With the exam season coming up, this is not a good time for students to fall ill. As children hunker down to revise for their papers, it will not be surprising if they fail to observe healthy lifestyle principles. Therefore, parents play a vital role in providing the support children need to tackle this crucial period leading up to the examinations. We share seven ways parents can help their child stay healthy.

1. Help junior develop a revision plan

  • Guide your child in organising his revision routine and timetable instead of planning a study schedule on his behalf.
  • Ensure that he allocates one hour-long sessions to revise each subject.
  • Have him set aside about 20 minutes for a short break after every hour of revision. His schedule should also include time for meals.
  • Remind your child not to schedule a last-minute study session on the morning of the exam. Doing so may unnecessarily increase anxiety and stress, especially since he will need to be calm and alert for the examination.

2. Keep the study environment conducive

  • Ensure that your child is studying in a bright and airy space. Dim, stuffy rooms with no air circulation can cause headaches.
  • Cluttered workspaces can also cause unnecessary stress. Remind your child to keep his study materials neatly organised.
  • Prepare a bottle of water for junior. Since the brain is made up of 70 per cent water, it is vital to stay hydrated.
  • Listening to soft classical music may help your child focus better while studying.

3. Take small meals and healthy snacks

  • Ensure that your child eats smaller meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner when he is revising, then supplement his diet with healthy snacks. Heavy meals will leave him feeling bloated and sluggish.
  • Healthy snacks like blueberries, pumpkin seeds and \other nuts will not just satisfy hunger, but also boost brain juices!

4. Teach stress management strategies

  • Meditating or doing deep breathing exercises while squeezing a stress ball can keep revision stress in check.
  • If your child has a paper the following day, let him take a breather, especially if he has been putting in many hours of revision.

5. Defuse his stress

  • Take your child’s mind off the exams – talk to him about the news or what plans he has after the exams.
  • Junior knows how important the exams are, so do not harp on it as this will only add unnecessary stress!
  • Do not compare your child’s past exam performance to his peers or remind him about it.

6. Get a good night of sleep

  • Burning the midnight oil will do more harm than good as this increases the body’s production of cortisol, a stress hormone.
  • So, make your child set a “stop work” time in the evening, to give him ample time to relax before hitting the sack.
  • Encourage your child to get seven to nine hours of sleep nightly.

7. Make time to exercise

  • Encourage junior to take short walks or do light stretches instead of exercising vigorously as this might cause injury.

 

Adapted from SmartParents.sg’s 7 ways to keep junior healthy for their exams [Infographic]