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How to Cope With Child’s Exam Stress | Tips for Parents

Children are commonly affected by exam stress, but lately cases of parents visiting the clinic for their anxiety problems due to the kid’s exam and performance has greatly increased.

It is a welcoming fact that parents are involved in their children’s exams and academic performances, but this may not always have a positive effect on their children. In some cases, they are even more worried than their kids. Seeing their parents stressed can negatively impact the child’s confidence, self esteem and performance.

Here are some parental tips to help your kid do better in exams:

Provide a comfortable space to learn.

A comfortable learning space and secure atmosphere can make a great learning environment. It can boost the productivity in learning and help in revision. Ensure that there is sufficient light, the noise levels are low, and a comfortable desk and chair with necessary stationary.

Get them to teach you

You remember and retain the information more when you “teach” the topic than when you just read or listen. Similarly, one good way to help children understand what they are learning is to ask them to “teach”you. Ask them to pretend that they are the teacher. It can be a fun too.

Be supportive and encouraging

Studying may not always be fun or that easy, esp. for those children who face special learning difficulties; so praise them when they are working hard. threatening them to study will only add to their exam stress. Listen to them, reassure them, hug them; responding in this way can help relieve their stress. You may suggest them a practical solution but only after they’ve calmed down.

Encourage healthy lifestyle and daily routine

Make sure that the children are having sufficient sleep and rest. Mental and physical rest will also help them consolidate what has been learnt during the day. Restrict the use of screens, computers, television, phones to ensure peaceful sleep.
As it is difficult to concentrate on learning for long periods of time, ensure that your child is spreading out revision by taking short breaks in between.

Incentives and rewards

After studying and exams, It is healthy to reward children through fun sports, activities and hobbies which they enjoy rather than providing material rewards like food/sweets, video games, or “prizes”.

Identifying your child’s best way of learning

It is crucial to know about your child’s method of studying that he/she enjoys the best, and plan learning strategies around that. Some are kinaesthetic learners who like to learn via p erforming skills such as note taking and writing. They enjoy movement, touch and experiences. Such learners may find it hard to sit still and just read. Kinaesthetic children are usually creative and most of them find studying difficult.

Some children feel more stressed than others, regardless of how confident they are about the topic they’re studying.

If you feel that you’re child is experiencing exam stress, it’s important to try to remind them that this is only a small part of their life and It won’t last forever.

Importantly, make your child feel that they are smart. No matter what has been said about him or her, or what the report card shows. Your kid has a very specific way of understanding the world and learning, and if you can tap into that, a whole new world can open up. Go discover the genius!

Valentine’s Day: The Key ingredients for your healthy relationship

It takes more than just love or attraction for a happy marriage and enduring love relationships. Only being in love may not guarantee that a relationship will work, but it also requires compatibility and relationship skills on the part of both partners.

It may not be so easy as the relationships brings us to the deepest parts of ourselves and can rip us down to reveal our deepest of insecurities and weaknesses. Therefore, being in love and being sure that it is love, is intensely crucial first step of any healthy long-term commitment.

A healthy love can only dwell when both the partners are emotionally interdependent; meaning that both care for one another, desire physical closeness, but most importantly respect each other enough to have their own identities as well. It takes effort and sheer dedication for them both.

Your opinions, goals and interests can change as you grow. but if you share the common core belief systems, you get a healthy platform to build a strong enduring relationship.

Following are some few key ingredients of a Healthy Relationship!

Having healthy Boundaries.

We humans are complex creatures. We all are multifaceted, hence it is unlikely that your partner will match all your needs and interests. It is absolutely normal and OK to pursue different activities, either individually, or socially, apart from your partner. Giving each other the desired personal space and freedom only signifies the trust you have in your relationship. You don’t have to share passwords of your social media accounts or phone to prove your trust. Creating healthy boundaries is an expression of what makes you feel comfortable and not what makes you feel trapped or like you’re “walking on eggshells”.

Healthy communication!

Like I always tell to my clients, “Communication is the key”.
Healthy communication is a fundamental part of strong relationships. Be honest. If something is bothering you, it’s best to talk about it instead of holding it in. Disagreements are natural part of healthy relationships. It is important that you find a flexible and respectable method of communicating your disagreements to your partner. Avoid using critical remarks, judgemental sentences, and listen before you act yourself out. Value the wishes and feelings of each other. Understanding and celebrating our differences will make living together more peaceful, interesting, and fun.

Be Supportive.

Offer reassurances and encouragement to your partner when needed. It is about building each other up, not putting each other down. Also, it is very important to know what you both want out of life and working towards those goals is what will strengthen the bond in your marriage.

Be responsive to your partners likes and needs.

Long lasting relationship is about two individuals making a commitment to each other and choosing to respond in ways that sustain their feelings for each other. It can get stale and you may feel disconnected from your partner if you take it for granted. Every now and then it requires a healthy boost. It may not always be an exotic vacation or outings, but finding fun in simple activities like going for a walk, movie or a coffee time together, or just taking a day off from your busy life for being with each other.

What is NOT a Healthy Relationship?

It is not about power and control. Possessiveness, jealousy accusations, are exertions of control. There is no excuse for abusive behaviour. Reconsider your relationship if you think it is unhealthy, it is draining you, if you are feeling very stressed due to it. Seek emotional support, talk to friends and family members.

Most importantly, seek professional help at relationship counsellors, or psychiatrists, etc. Understand that is it normal for a relationship to end and breaking up is also an option. Remember, you can’t force your partner to change if they don’t believe they’re wrong. You deserve to feel respected in your relationship. Even though you cannot change your partner, you can certainly make changes in your own life.

There are no guarantees in life. No other person can make you happy. It’s something you have to do it yourself. You’re responsible for your own happiness. My best advice for a relationship is – find a way to become and stay best friends! If you’d like to feel understood, try being more understanding. If you want to feel more love, try giving more love. Its simple.

The Republic Day special, Let’s Focus on 5 ways to good mental health & wellbeing

This year India will celebrate its 70th Republic Day. It is on this day the Constitution of India came into effect. The Indian Constitution includes steps that the nation needs to take to make India a better place. So, as the nation takes step towards making the country better for all of us, let us bring a positive change within ourselves by knowing following ways to achieve good mental health and wellbeing.

Get adequate sleep.

psychiatrist in puneIndia being a rapidly growing economy, we are largely a sleep-deprived nation. Although some of us may consider lack of sleep a badge of honor, but poor sleep is an important contributing factor for mental illness like depression and anxiety disorders. Sleep is first thing to get disturbed in any mental illness. The best ways is to follow consistent bed time and awake time, restrict daytime sleep hours, stay way from screens, social media, etc especially in the late night hours, and regular moderate physical exercise. These are some simple steps to ensure sleep hygiene.

Exercise more.

psychologist in puneThe benefits of moderate exercise in depression is found to be as effective as antidepressant medications. Individual suffering from mental health problem may find it difficult to exercise. It may not be always a joining gym or training weights – but just do walk! Exercising not only improves your sleep but also helps you in staying more relaxed. It can boost your self esteem and body language.

Invest in a Hobby.

Reward yourself by doing activities which you enjoy. Hobbies not only promotes a sense of pleasure but also helps you to build mastery in something. It gives you a sense of achievement and feeling of self worth. Take up a hobby that helps you feel good about yourself. As you get better at it, your self esteem will also get a boost.

Keep away from your smartphone.

Social media feeds not only makes you feel anxious but also make you feel more depressed. You invariably tend to compare your life to those who are having wonderful times. Their life always looks better when you compare yours with them, and it makes you feel depressed. Take a social media holiday. Even it is for small times, take breaks from your smartphones. Decide to check feeds once every three to four hours instead, and stop altogether after 6 pm. Most importantly, stop constantly comparing yourself to others.

Start to plan your day.

Getting overwhelmed by work, can make you feel anxious and burnout. Plan your day or week by writing it down on paper the to do tasks. Make a log and track the time it takes. Having a plan will prevent you from constantly thinking about your day. With a planner, you are on track and have a sense of accomplishment.

Finally, help others. It is a great way to connect with other people and cultivate relationships. Be grateful. Practice gratitude by reflecting on the good things in your life. Give yourself a break, and be nicer to yourself.

Is New Year’s Eve the “most depressing day of the year”?

New Year’s Eve comes with a mixed feelings of relief and despair. People may find difficult to shake themselves of lingering sadness as they say goodbye to the passing year to remember its last moments.

Festivals and holidays are known to be mentally taxing. According to recent research the New Year’s Eve can even be considered as the “most depressing day of the year.”

Let us have a look about the possible factors that could make New Year’s Eve so hard on mental health.

Its emphasis on reflection is what sets New Year’s Eve/ Day apart from other holidays, and this can make it particularly upsetting. At the new year, it is difficult not to reassess and become self critical at least a bit.

Anytime when you reflect on past, can potentially make you feel more depressed. Especially if you feel like you don’t measure up in comparison to others. It is often the time when we are more likely to think or reflect upon our achievements or lack of it. Failure to reach certain goals, health issues, major professional set backs, etc particularly can feel very heavy at the end of year.

For those who have already been diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder, the winter of December end can worsen unpleasant feelings and depression. There is a pressure to socialise, party, go out that can act as a stressor as those who are depressed find leaving the house difficult. Letting social convention dictate what you do rather than doing what feels best for you can risk you for anxiety and depression.

It is the day when one focusses more on future and hopes of new year to come. With low mood and morale, those who are suffering from depression may, unfortunately, be feeling more dread than hope as they look forward to the new year.

It is important to know that It’s okay to feel depressed or anxious. Sadness and anxiety are normal human emotions, but they can become dangerous if they become extremely intense and prolonged. In such a case, it is advisable simply vocalise your feelings to close ones, or seek professional help.