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It can be difficult for a parent to stand by and watch their children go through the rigors of exams, whether in high school or college. Exams are tough on students – many of whom don’t take care of their bodies with late (or all-night) night cram sessions, unhealthy eating habits, over-doses of caffeine, not to mention extremely high levels of anxiety and stress.

You begin to wonder: What’s my role here? As a parent, where should I step in? While you can’t take the exams for them (yes, we know you’ve thought about it) you can help ease their exam anxieties in other ways.

1. Help Avoid Procrastination

Touch base with your kids regarding their assignments and exams, asking whether or not they feel prepared and have studied. You certainly do not need to become a micro-manager but you can encourage preparedness and readiness as much as possible. If you’re bringing it up, they will become more aware of the timeline and get down to studying.

2. Encourage Healthy Study and Lifestyle Habits

Try to encourage your kids to make healthier lifestyle and, in turn, study habits. If they’re not at home, you could send a care package with healthy alternatives to help motivate them in making healthier decisions. Better habits will lead to feeling better, staying more focused in class and while studying and, ultimately, improved marks. Ensure that they eat healthy food and avoid junk, relax and sleep well.

3. Offer Support – Before and After the Exam

Remind your kids of your love and support – no matter the outcome of their exams. Let them know that you’re aware of their hard work and efforts and that you’re extremely proud of them regardless of the marks they receive on their exams. Take time to remind them that their entire future does not depend on one particular exam and you know that they worked to achieve the best possible grade and it’s not the end of the world if their score isn’t what they hoped for. Your support will likely go further than you think in reducing their stresses, as students tend to put a lot of pressure on themselves to please their parents, whether the parents know it or not.

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