Teaming up with your child to ace the Board Exams

Teaming up with your child to ace the Board Exams

Board time again.

Frustration running high, patience running low; anxiety everywhere, clarity nowhere. What to do to help, should I push, should I step back; night study, wake up early; be strict, be chill?

Board times are tough for the children but these days are tougher for the parents. With so many conflicting pieces of advice about what to do; dealing with children who are scared, stubborn or tearful; wanting the best in the competitive world out there, is it any wonder that parents face, if not more then, at least as much anxiety as the child who is actually preparing to write the exam..

This then leads to frustration, lack of patience, anger, overwhelm and panic. When you as a parent are already going through so much emotional distress how likely are you to be a steady and stable support for your child?

So let’s look at a few things you can do to create a motivating and supporting space which helps your child focus rather than one that is discordant, tense and weary where both of you are at cross purposes. Let’s start by answering a few questions

  • What do you want to feel during this time leading up to the board exams? Write down the feelings that you want to have during this time so you can be positive & supportive for your child and you
  • What are the things that you see yourself doing to maintain a loving, happy and supportive environment at home for your child? Write down all the things that you see yourself doing for your child and for yourself to keep both of you at your best
  • What are the emotions that you are facing right now? Just write down all of them on a piece of paper
  • Do your emotions give you strength and balance or do they make you anxious or stressed?


Maybe you are feeling emotions like love for your child, confident about his abilities, comfortable about his future, which make you encouraging and positive around him. Or you could be feeling anxious and fearful, stressed and confused which makes you irritable, strict or too pushy with him. Or it could even be a mix of both. Identify what each emotion is doing to you – helping you add positivity and calm or create fear and stress


A very obvious question now.

  • Which environment would help your child more – a positive and calm one where you are there to support him or a fearful and angry one where you are constantly pushing him? The first one right.

And even more obvious now is,

  • What should you be feeling to create that environment?

But that’s easier said than done and we understand that. So here are a few simple and practical strategies to help you and your child team up against the disempowering emotions that you both might be feeling right now so you start to work as a team rather than against each other. You have a common goal after all.

Start by helping your child also answer the above questions. Understand where the unhelpful emotions like anxiety and fear are coming from? What makes you and your child feel stressed? Some common things could be

a) Your child’s ability – unlikely to change much at this point. Seeing what his average marks are, help him target a percentage or grade just slightly higher. If you are targeting a goal that is unrealistic you are creating needless pressure and setting yourself up for failure and disappointment

b) Competition – out of your control. There’s nothing you can do about it. Focussing on things you can do like finishing a certain amount of syllabus, helps you feel more confident and in control.

c) The future – like the point above – out of your control. Again focussing your thoughts and energy in the present keeps you feeling grounded and confident

d) Too much to do, too little time – prioritize the chapters according to their importance. Focus on these first. If it is still overwhelming, break the task down to more manageable chunks and start working on them. The more you do, the less you feel.

e) Worst case scenarios – generally don’t happen. And focussing on them only sucks away your energy. Look at the realistic picture, accept it and try to improve on it.

f) Comparison – thinking of how much who is studying or scoring is not helping either of you. Focus on what your child is doing and can do to improve is more beneficial

A few common things that you can do apart from the strategies discussed above are

1. Diet – make sure your child and you are eating a healthy and nutritious diet. Skipping meals, junking, drinking too much coffee will only make you feel irritable and restless

2. Sleep – studying through the nights and not resting enough will result in lowered efficiency, anxiety and irritability

3.Breaks – are a must for the both of you. Nobody performs well under constant pressure. Factor in reasonable breaks after every 35 to 40 minutes for your child.

4. Entertainment – trust us, you’ll be both better off if you schedule some entertainment in your routine. It helps lighten things up and helps you focus better. Smart tip – use it as an incentive to motivate yourself to finish unpleasant tasks

5. Mindfulness – start using simple breathing and mindfulness techniques to keep you centered and focussed. Anxiety always happens when you are thinking of the past or the future. Mindfulness keeps you in the present where you can actually do something.

At the end of the day help your child understand that a board exam is like any other exam that he has given till now. It is not the be all and end all of things. Help him focus on the present and give his best. Thinking about the future will only make both of you anxious and fearful where he might not perform as well.

We hope you will use the above given strategies to turn exams to a positively challenging time and not anxiety provoking. Take care of your and your child’s mental and physical health. And get in touch with us if you require any support.

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