MS/US Counselors Offer Tips On Supporting Students Through Final Exams

By Samantha Kobs and Nina McPherson, School Counselors

While many of us look forward to a much anticipated holiday season, students across the country will soon embark on one of the most stressful weeks of their academic year – Finals Week!

It is sometimes hard to see our students go through this type of stress and we may wonder how we can truly support them academically and emotionally. 
 
Whether your child is in middle or upper school, final exam season may be filled with late night studying sessions, lack of sleep, test anxiety, and varying degrees of stress. Below are helpful suggestions and ideas on how to support your child and help them thrive during this busy season.
  1. Stress Relief: Parents can offer suggestions and share experiences about how they planned to reduce stress during busy times or important deadlines. Students need to allow their brain time to process the material that they have learned by taking time to relieve stress.
  2. Prioritizing Sleep: Talk to your child about the amount of sleep he or she is getting a night. Fatigue on the brain can be detrimental to their memory and we want them to be bright and alert for each of their exams. Getting enough rest can also help improve your child's memory, mood, and cognitive functioning.
  3. Brain Food: Eating healthy grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and protein are good for the brain and blood sugar levels while also keeping them fuller longer. Eating healthy snacks between study sessions can be very helpful for your child.
  4. Offer Support: Before and after exams, reassure your child of your love and support despite the results of the final exams. Share with him/her that yoou acknowledge his/her hard work. Your continued support and reassurance goes a long way and may help relieve a lot of the pressure that he/she may be already putting on the him/herself.
  5. External Pressure. Some children report that it is the additional pressure put on them by parents or family that stresses them out more than the actual exam preparation. Provide your child enough support and encouragement that he/she would feel at ease to share with you not just successes, but any reasons for failures and bad performances as well.
  6. Staying active. Exercise boosts blood flow to the brain and sitting in one place for an extended period of time can lead to a fatigued mind. Being active brings natural endorphins that will help lift your child's mood and provide a fresh perspective away from his/her study materials.
As always, we are here to partner with you and your family. Feel free to reach out to us at any time: Samantha Kobs (US), Nina McPherson (MS)
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