The preparation for final matric examination doesn’t only affect pupils, but parents as well, who need to play an instrumental role in helping their children cope with the anxiety and pressure that comes with writing exams.
The South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP) understands the stress that parents endure, and have shared ways in which parents can nurture their child’s mental health during exam time.
Jogini Packery, Counselling Psychologist and Head of Student Services at SACAP, said parents often put pressure on their children to work hard without even providing psychological support for them.
Packery encourages parents to talk to their children about their feelings, and try to understand how they are affecting a child’s behaviours and mental states during exam time.
“Help your child to identify the sources of stress and the thoughts that evoke fears and anxieties. Help them to become aware of their ways of dealing with negative feelings, and to find coping strategies that help them bounce back quickly and effectively,” Packery said.
Parents are encouraged to help their children be aware of the inevitable rising stress levels during exams.
“Keep the channels of communication open, and the focus on the importance of mental health. Discuss ways that will help your child proactively relieve stress such as taking some time out the study schedule to connect with a friend,” said Packery.