How to survive the exams
If you’ve got kids doing exams – and who hasn’t, exams tend to start in the womb these days with a series of questions posed to the foetus on the nature of amniotic fluid and the benefit of muscle development from lying in the breach position – you, too, are probably working hard. As there’s no manuel given to parents on how to survive the exam season and stay sane, here are some of the dilemmas we face. If you’ve got any answers, please share them:
- Should us parents go out – i.e. have a life/sunshine/bottle of beer outside the family house during exam time? If your kid is in a sweat, revising day and night and mumbling under their breath ‘got to get an A star, got to get an A star’, you want to be there for him or her to encourage breaks, occasional bathing and to mop their tears of frustration as tiredness erects its invisible wall and no more information will enter their head.
- Or, if you know there’s no hope of them revising if you’re out of the house, you’re trapped inside, hopelessly repeating the manrta “Shouldn’t you be revising?” as they grip on a console or phone only to be told: “Well Nan said you never did any revision when you were my age…” To which you reply with a whimper “And look where it got me, now bl**dy revise’
- Should you sing your kids’ praises on facebook or twitter when they get top marks? It’s so tempting, but remember some kids – particularly those who have been revising indoors with blank eyes throughout their childhoods – fall to pieces at this stressful time. They’re burnt out, and so are their parents. This was one of this website’s best read threads, urging parents to be kind on facebook, not to ask their fellow mums and dads about how their children did or which uni or college they got into. However well your kid does, try not to gloat – you’ll alienate yourself from a host of friends with kids the same age who are finding this exam season to be their own private hell.
- Do we deserve to take credit when an exam is passed? After all, we’ve not only taken cups of tea and pieces of cake/fruit/wisdom to our offspring during the revision period. We also gave birth to them, which although some time ago means they exist and were able to memorise many many pointless facts that they won’t be able to recall, even at pub quizzes.
If you know the answer to any of these questions, please let us know below. In the meantime, good luck to all those doing exams, and all the parents supporting them.