My child would get excessively tensed on the day of his exam.
My son was a bright child. He was good in studies, and performed well at school. But he was overly afraid of taking exams.
We first noticed that something was wrong when he was supposed to write his half yearly exams in grade 6. That was the first time he was giving exams since he did not have exams till class 5; they just had unit tests. He did get scared sometimes before the tests, and we thought those were just pre-test jitters, just like all of us would experience before any test. His nerves would calm down once he would start writing the test.
I clearly remembered the night before one of his exams, where he told me that he was well-prepared, and all set to nail the exam. The next thing I knew was in the morning, as the time of the exam grew closer, it was as if reality had hit him. He got excessively tensed, and started panicking. He started worrying that he might fail the exam. Both me and my husband tried to pacify him, and reassured him that he didn’t have to worry as he had prepared well. But his stress levels didn’t come down.
We could see him feeling a lot more stressed and anxious than his usual self before the tests. We tried to comfort him repeatedly. When he saw us worrying too much, putting on a brave face, he said it was nothing, and that he would be fine. He went on to the examination hall. It was only when his teacher called us in the middle of the exam, we figured that it was something serious. Our son was just sitting silently in the corner on a seat while his teacher explained what had happened in the hall. As the teacher handed him the question paper, it was almost as if he went blank. He couldn’t even hold his pen right, and started sweating profusely. He even peed his pants without realizing it.
This was not the only time that something like this had happened. Every time he had to write an exam thereafter, he would go through something similar. We thought that he would get better with each passing exam that he took, but the same things kept repeating. It had become sort of a pattern. We didn’t know what to do. That is when my sister suggested we take him to a psychologist. I discussed it with my husband, and both of us agreed that our child needed some professional help.
We went to the psychologist my sister recommended. When I booked the appointment, I had a lot of questions in mind but after speaking to her, I felt satisfied as she addressed all the questions properly. I appreciated her approach of meeting me and my husband first in order to understand our perspective, and then meeting my child separately.
The psychologist made my son extremely comfortable, and helped him identify the possible causes behind his anxiety. Through counseling, he learnt to be vocal about his feelings, and was made to understand that it was ok to feel whatever he was experiencing. She kept me in loop throughout, and also told me to acknowledge his efforts. After a couple of sessions, I noticed that he was trying to share his feelings with me. I encouraged him and supported his attempt to do so.
The psychologist also explained different ways to cope with his anxiety during exam time. I would say that the relaxation technique taught to him indeed helped him calm down, and lessened his worries. Moreover, she emphasized on maintaining a healthy lifestyle such as sleeping well, eating better along with making changes in his exam preparations. These tips shared with him benefited him immensely. Both me and my husband noticed that he feels a little more confident before his exams now. We were really thankful to the counselor for helping our child manage his situation, and recover from it.