While the children stress over one of the biggest school tests in their lives, parents help by preparing for PSLE in a different way. However, both sides get stressed over the annual examination and its outcome.
For most Singaporean parents, Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is something that shapes the future of their children. Unfortunately, you can never underestimate this examination as it causes stress and anxiety to the students and their parents.
There is no doubt that a great deal of hype has been built around preparing for PSLE, as it has been considered the most important exam for kids at this stage of their young lives. No wonder it ends up increasing the stress levels in kids as well as parents.
PSLE even affects the normal day-to-day life of parents. In truth, some parents prepare for PSLE by taking a leave from work to support their kids.
However, doing this sometimes causes a lot of pressure due to the elevated expectations of the kids and the parents. Additionally, most of them don’t realise that their additional stress does not help their kids.
So, when preparing for PSLE, parents and kids both need to manage their stress levels. To help you accomplish that, we compiled some tips to cope with the high-pressure situation brought by PSLE anxiety.
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Examinations Linked to Students’ Fear of Failure
The written tests for PSLE recently commenced; it officially began on 29 September 2022. However, some students cannot breathe easily until the 5th of October as they will take either Higher Chinese, Malay, or Tamil.
The past nine months of Primary 6 students were not easy. They experienced an academic year full of a rolling wave of tests, homework, revisions, and supplementary lessons.
Moreover, they cannot escape the reality of undergoing their PSLE. The stress they get from preparing for these tests also affects their parents’ mental health.
The parents often adopt the anxiety from their kids because they see their struggle firsthand. They also know how much is at stake with their children’s PSLE results.
Fear of Failure
Unfortunately, Singapore’s PSLE causes stress and anxiety to children because of their fear of failure. Most Singapore students consider PSLE their first academic rite of passage. It is a significant exam that they need to take seriously.
Experts found that about 78% of Primary 6 students in the country experience fear of failure. About 3 out of 4 children believe that failure to pass their PSLE affects their plans for the upcoming years of their lives.
Aside from that, they are also extremely worried about how others think of them when they come to the point where they fail the exam. Unfortunately, this fear of failure must never be tolerated and instilled in children. Experts found that students’ fear of failure regarding this matter may negatively affect their well-being.
Parents Preparing for PSLE: A Guide To Cope With Stress During Exams
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Indeed, PSLE can be very stressful for students. Fortunately, they have their parents who can help them cope with stress because of the PSLE.
Aside from the parent’s guidance, the schools and teachers were always ready to guide them. Many people at home and in schools are helping the students to cope with stress and handle pressure from the thought of taking the PSLE.
While kids get enough support from people around them, parents cannot deny that they are also struggling. They also feel stress and pressure while preparing their children for PSLE.
Building Resilience at Home
For parents preparing for PSLE, one of the best things you should focus on is building resilience at home. You cannot avoid stress, but you can always find the best way to handle them.
Keep in mind that you can build resilience at home when you know the importance of being well-supported, well-managed, and well-balanced.
Parents can never expect their children to be resilient adults in the future if they fail to nurture them in their younger years. Keep in mind that the best role model for children as they grow up are their parents.
First of all, parents prepare for PSLE to mainly help their kids’ studies. You need to prioritize the topics or the subjects by difficulty. Make sure that your kid is not exposed to all the difficult topics all at once. Alternate difficult and easy topics to make sure your child gains confidence and does not lose motivation.
Plan in advance. Create a timetable one month before the exams and a to-do list for daily tasks. Monitor the completion of each task. This ensures you prevent the last-minute revision and stress that comes with it.
At the accomplishment of each goal celebrate in some small way or another to boost the confidence of the kid. When things will go smoothly parents will certainly feel less stressed.
There is no doubt that PSLE is a big deal for millennial parents. It has been noticed that many parents take leave from work and some even quit their job to help the kids get through it.
During this time they become excessively demanding causing even more stress to the kids. Being overly demanding shows that the parent is releasing their stress by putting pressure on the kid. However, getting more demanding makes things more difficult for the kid. This in turn causes more frustration.
Become more supportive of your kid. Allow them to take the natural learning curve. Help them when they need a little push to get back on track. This way, you will see how you are able to beat your own stress.
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Anxiety is often the result of uncertainty. To avoid it, you will want to be aware of the learning progress of your kid when preparing for PSLE. To do this you will need to get more involved with them from the beginning of the year and not just 2 weeks before the exam.
Some parents prepare for PSLE by following a hands-off approach and sending their kids to enrichment centres. If you choose this, you need to remember to refrain from being too intrusive. Follow the day-to-day progress of the kid by participating in their daily routines. Make them feel as if you are enthusiastic about what they are doing.
Ask for Help
There could be times when children are well-prepared for the exam, but their parents are the ones who are poorly equipped for what the children are going through.
It is common for kids to be dependent on their parents. In contrast, most parents are not comfortable with asking for help themselves.
Remember that, as parents, you also need your emotional support as much as your kids do. To help your children cope with stress, you also need to be comfortable asking for help from other people.
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While PSLE is a big first step for your child, it is not the end of the world if they do not do well. There will be many opportunities in life for them.
There are many things that are beyond the control of parents when preparing for PSLE. This includes the difficulty of the paper and the health of the child on that day. So, why stress out on something you have little control over?
Moreover, let us remind you that PSLE isn’t the last examination in life that your child will appear for. Yes, it’s important but there are several ways to succeed in life as long as one is willing to make the effort for it. A paper does not decide your child’s fate. So, dear parent and child, you won’t yield much from undue stress.
Go Back to the Basics
Always keep in mind that things do not necessarily have to be complicated. You just need to remind not just your kids but also yourself about the things that are important, most especially the core of your family.
To avoid stress, parents preparing for PSLE need to remember to keep their and their kids’ emotions in check. With this, you let them know that you’re in this together. This also helps them gain more confidence in getting the PSLE results they want.
This article was updated by Kaira De la Rosa and Kamille Uriella Batuyong.