Say no to stress! Avoiding high expectations can tackle stress among students

Comparison is another reason for anxiety among students, especially during the announcement of exam results. Representative image: Manorama

Nearly everyone in your life may have been curious about how many A-pluses you would receive in the SSLC examinations as results drew near. And as time went on, the expectations too mounted. Or else, parents brag about their kids or make comparisons to other kids. Such situations may lead to mental health problems among students like stress, depression, and even suicidal thoughts.

Causes of stress
• Hostile environment at home
• Over expectations from parents, relatives, and teachers can pose a difficult situation for children.
• Comparison is another reason for anxiety among students, especially during the announcement of exam results.
• A child's daily routine changes during an exam period. When it comes to SSLC or Plus Two exams, especially,  parents tend to pressurise their children to extend their study hours.
• Anxiety or overthinking about the future can also cause tension.

How can parents tackle this issue?
• Don't have repeated conversations about exam results, before or after their declaration.
• Try to create a relaxed environment for their child amid the exams.
• Avoid high expectations and reassure them that you are with them no matter what and that exam or scoring high marks is not a big deal.
• Be a good listener and talk to them openly.
• Seek help from experts when you feel that you might not be able to handle your child's anxiety.

Teachers' efforts also matter
• Help students have a positive outlook towards exams.
• Encourage and compliment students for their strengths instead of giving appreciation to just studious children.
• Explain to them the options, such as re-evaluation and improvement exams.
• Reassure them that gaining knowledge is more important than struggling for high scores.
(Information Courtesy: Child Psychologist and Special Educator Chanchana Jacob)

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