School exams and stress

No one ever forgets the awful sweaty palms and moments of panic just before an important exam, and while many might view it as a rite of passage, there are some helpful ways that you can lighten the load for your child as exam time approaches.

What’s stress?

Stress is a feeling of tension, excitement or pressure to do well which alerts your body to be ready to put a large effort into whatever the focus of stress is.

Stress is part of everyday life and it helps give you the energy and drive to put a sustained effort into an activity and succeed. Stress causes the release of the hormone adrenalin into the body, which produces a feeling of tension or excitement – what we often refer to as ‘butterflies’. If the cause of our stress is not alleviated at some point, and our body remains under stress, there will be a build-up of adrenalin which can cause harm to our body.

Signs that stress may be a problem:

  • Over-tired but may have trouble getting to sleep
  • Being physically run-down and prone to small ailments
  • Muscular tension
  • Frequent headaches
  • Diarrhoea
  • Expressing a feeling of anxiety, helplessness or a general sense of feeling overwhelmed
  • Excessive complaining and whinging
  • Getting upset or angry easily and frequently
  • An inability to concentrate
  • Being “jumpy” and “fidgety”
  • An inability to express enthusiasm for activities
  • A general disengagement with activities that are usually popular

If you are at all concerned about your child’s stress levels, talk to their teacher or school counsellor. Your family doctor may also be able to assist.

This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot. Sources include S.A. Govt’s Parenting and Child Health and NSW Govt’s NSW Public Schools.

One Comment

  1. kymmage 01/11/2017 at 9:50 pm

    It’s sometimes hard to recognise when stress is affecting you! It’s good if you can pick up on it in your kid and try and help them navigate those feelings and also hopefully find ways to model good behaviour with your own stress. I try to do this, though I’m not always successful. We at least unpack why I got so jumpy or shouty, and what it felt.

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