CHILDLINE ADVICE: Remind your child they’re not alone if they're stressed about exams

With the return of GCSE and A-Level exams, we know this can be a difficult time for both children and parents. That’s why this week I’d like to talk about exam stress.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 23rd May 2022, 12:00 am
Parents and carers should try to make sure young people have regular breaks from revising.
Parents and carers should try to make sure young people have regular breaks from revising.

At Childline, we delivered 1,734 counselling sessions to children and young people with concerns about exam stress and revision in 2021/22, a 62% rise on the previous year.

When talking about their upcoming exams this month, children in the North East and across the UK told us that their worries were affecting their mental health, anxiety levels and ability to sleep.

Some said that they were struggling to concentrate, find the motivation to study or were feeling pressured by parents and teachers.

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It’s important to remember that everyone's different so we would advise children not to compare themselves to their friends. And remember, exams don’t last forever.

Parents and carers should try to make sure young people have regular breaks from revising, do some exercise, go to bed at a reasonable time, and try to think positively as this will help with revision.

Most importantly, Childline is urging all young people to speak out if they are worried about their exams – our trained counsellors are here and ready to listen.

Our website also has a range of support for young people including a safe and moderated chat area to discuss their concerns with others their own age, and the Calm Zone which has been a great source of support for children and young people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

For parents and carers – the most important thing you can do is to remind your child they’re not alone.

It’s important to be supportive and help alleviate any worries by talking to them.

Try not to put unnecessary pressure on your child to achieve high grades.

When it comes to revising, try to give the child space and time to do so, and encourage them to take regular breaks, eat snacks and exercise.

Children can contact Childline for free, confidential support and advice on 0800 1111 or visit www.childline.org.uk and parents can contact the NSPCC helpline for guidance and support on 0808 800 5000 or email [email protected]