Powerful Ways To Overcome Fear

Sometimes even time does not help us get over and get through fears. Sweaty palms, palpitations, heaving breath, blank mind, perpetual fear of the ever so tricky exams. Been there and done that. However, I got some certificates that say I beat it. Exam fear is no joke. I struggled with it when I was growing up. Exams were never fun or happily awaited. I dreaded the awful end-of-term exams. And in my case, we had three terms. Oh, the horror. Imagine, if you like, in a little less than 90 days, I had to relive that torturous routine, and boy, did I dislike them. But, my parents had a solution for my exam fever or fear, and it helped me as I grew.

So let’s first figure out why kids fear exams and get sick or want to have the earth swallow them.
I have been on both sides, so I will share what I have learned.

1. Parents put excess pressure on kids to be the next big educational wonder – Now it is not harmful to want what’s best for your child. However, it is wrong to impose what you think they should have or should do what you did not. Living your dreams or life fantasies through your kids can be dangerous for them. In a surprising study, kids these days go through the highest stress ever known to us. Imagine a 10-year-old having pressure. I mean, ten is when the kid should have fun. You know, sports, watching cartoons, living the life that only kids can.

2. Poorly taught classes – When a child is pushed to a corner to achieve something they are not aware of or prepared to do, they will buckle under pressure. Fight or flight becomes a reality. One that no child should face at a tender age, at least not in academics. The world is not very lovely, but it does not need to have poorly taught kids punished for what their teachers or education systems lack. 

3. Lack of interest – Some kids don’t like specific subjects. Period. I read somewhere many years ago that in some European countries, kids have fun and have no exams till class 5. They get to have no curriculum; they are allowed to play and chill out. They attend school, but it is more to help them have child-sized fun and enable them to acclimate to using social skills in group settings. I have a hard time seeing kids break their backs carrying bags that will make a bodybuilder blush. 

Education is necessary but should not be a hassle for the little ones.

What are the remedies?

1. Create a safe and accommodative environment for the child at home to study and prepare. One with no judgment and full-on support, either with the parents being involved or tutors to guide the children where needed. 

2. Give them breaks as often as possible. Timeouts help keep them focused.

3. Set simple timetables.

4. Allow them to choose their vocation when it’s time. It is common for an art graduate to run a company just as good as an IIM graduate. Also, we all know a few school drop out who run multi-million dollar businesses. 

5. Listen to your children when they need you the most.

6. Guide them with patience and an eye for their best interests.

Exams are tools to test a child’s learning and not define the child’s intelligence. Some kids aren’t built to suit a system that does not work for their intelligence. Do not try to fit them in a box that life will later ask them to think out of. Grades will come and go or improve, should not damage a child’s mental well-being in getting them an education while equipping them for life.

Trust them, listen to them, guide them, and love them. Your child will surprise you with achievements you never knew existed! 

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