ChildLine is reminding teenagers that help is available if they feel anxious or worried about exams.
Young people across West Yorkshire will be amongst the millions of under 18s who will sit exams this summer. Last year, the ChildLine Yorkshire base in Leeds handled 40 counselling sessions from children and young people about exam pressure.
Gaynor Birnie, ChildLine Service Manager for Yorkshire and the Humber said: “The exam period can be a very stressful and anxious time for young people. We hear from lots of young people each year who are worried or panicking about their exams and revision. This can affect them in a variety of ways and can leave them unable to eat, sleep or function normally. We want to let them know that they are not alone and that ChildLine is here to listen to them.”
To help children and young people cope with exams and combat anxiety (including tips on relaxation techniques and boosting confidence) ChildLine is offering the following advice for young people to overcome pre-exam nerves and help them if they have any concerns.
*Make sure you take regular breaks from revising and do some exercise.
*Go to bed at a reasonable time and try and get some sleep.
*Getting a good night’s sleep will help you much more than trying to revise all night – you will just end up very tired the next day.
*Try to think positively – even if you don’t feel like it, a positive attitude will help you during your revision.
*Take some water into the test with you, if you can. Keeping hydrated by drinking water will help you concentrate.
*The ChildLine website has a special ‘Beat exam stress’ section for children and young people to visit. As well as calling ChildLine’s free confidential helpline on 0800 11 11 or visiting www.childline.org.uk, young people can also send emails to trained counsellors or receive support online via one-to-one chat.
ChildLine is also offering the following advice for parents and carers to help ease young people’s exam stress and anxieties during the summer months:
*The most important thing for parents and carers to recognise is that exams can be intensely stressful and acknowledging this in itself can be helpful to your child.
*Don’t place unnecessary pressure on your children to gain certain grades. They may feel they have failed if they don’t achieve what they thought was expected of them.
*Encourage children to take regular breaks, eat snacks and exercise.
*Help them revise by leaving them the space and time to do so.
*Be relaxed about chores or untidiness and understand they might be moody. Allow your children to revise at nights if that’s what works best for them however do make sure that they get enough sleep to keep their energy levels up in the day.
*Be supportive and help alleviate their worries by talking to them.
You can also visit www.childline.org.uk/explore/schoolcollege/pages/exam-stress.aspx to find out more.