It is heart-wrenching to see your child fret about exam results especially if all your conversations before the results were about best colleges, grand holiday plans or cool gifts depending on the grades. It is bad enough as a parent, but your child might find it tougher to come to terms with failure or poor grades. All this can make your child suffer silently dealing with feelings of helplessness and shame. And the sad part is you might not even know it.
When should you worry about it?
Whether you have a tween or a teenager, remember they aren’t good at expressing themselves yet. So it is important that you pick up the cues through their behaviour and attitude. Sometimes it is fine to give your child space to get over it. But, your child may need help if you see
Your jovial kid becomes gloomy and depressed.
They are interacting less with friends or avoiding them.
Extreme signs of aggression, like tearing old notebooks or head banging and fits.
Temper tantrums like snapping at a younger sibling or even the elders in the family.
A general dislike towards all activities that were once enjoyed, like watching TV or playing on iPad.
Loss of appetite and sleep.
What happens when your child is stressed?
Stress leads to the release of a hormone called cortisol that can cause excessive eating, inactivity and mood swings. This can impact your child’s mental and physical health. If you see these symptoms persist for more than a week, it’s time for you to take some action. Is it depression that your child is suffering from or mere stress? Read to know.
What can you do?
Help your child cope with the stress and be more accepting towards life. But, you need to accept the situation before you can help your child. Remember, psychological stress during childhood can lead to lifestyle disorders in future.
Here is what you can do to ease the tension.
Talk it out
First, try to talk to your child to know what is bothering him deep down. Is it the failure or the fear of letting you down? If talking doesn’t help, look for professional help like counselling. Here is how talk therapy can help to reduce suicidal tendencies.
Plan what to do next
Help your child learn from mistakes. Low grades or repeating a year may seem like a big social burden for your child. Look for a good coaching class or tutor to cope with the academic challenges. Don’t allow your child to brood all alone. Here are NaMo’s 10 tips to help your child survive the exams.
Ensure proper sleep
Losing sleep is very common in children after a bad result. However, it doesn’t lessen the anxiety and stress. So make sure to keep all the electronic gadgets like the laptop, iPad, iPhone away from your child when it’s time to go to bed. Here are foods that help you sleep better.
Eat to ease stress
Allowing your child to eat a pizza or a tub of ice-cream to get over the anxiety isn’t going to help. Unhealthy food leads to more stress and anxiety. Instead prepare a healthy meal at home. Keep it simple, but tasty like dal makhni or a fresh fruit smoothie. Here are 10 reasons to stop eating junk food right now.
Keep your home organised
Clutter all around will make your child more cranky and irritable, especially in the morning. So make sure to keep your room and the house clean and clutter free once your child goes to bed. Waking up to a neat room helps to stay calm right from the beginning of the day. Here is how de-cluttering helps to control stress.
Try yoga and meditation
Practising the right breathing technique through yoga can help reduce stress. Intake of enough oxygen helps to break the gloomy mood and feel recharged. Here are few yoga poses that can help you ease stress.
Prepare for the future
After you tried everything, make sure that you help your child deal with the reality – being in the class with juniors, missing old friends, etc. might be difficult for many weeks or even months. Assure your child that you would there no matter the situation. Instill confidence in your child and try to explain that success and failure is part and parcel of life. Here are tips to deal with a slow-learner.