Coping with the parental stress of PSLE

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Preparing for PSLE can be more stressful for parents! Here are some tips on how to handle it and be more helpful to your child.

For most Singaporean parents, Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is something that shapes the future of their children. There is no doubt that a great deal of hype has been built around preparing for PSLE, as it has been considered as the most important exam for the 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. It is very common to see parents take leave before the exams to stay home and give their children additional support. It builds up a lot of pressure due to the elevated expectations of the kids and the parents. So, here is how the parents can cope with the stress.

1. Get organised

First of all, you as a parent need to get organized and do the same with the kid’s studies. 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 time table 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 the things will go smoothly parents will certainly feel less stressed.

2. Be supportive

There is no doubt that PSLE is a big deal for the 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 make 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 the track. This way, you will see how you are able to beat your own stress.

3. Be participative

Anxiety is often the result of uncertainty. To avoid it, you will want to be aware of the learning progress of your kid. 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.

Many parents take a hands off approach and just send their kids for tuition lessons, until 2 weeks before the PSLE exams where they take a more active approach. But you have to find a way to make sure that you are not being 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.

4. Manage expectations

While the 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, like difficulty of the paper and health of the child on that day. I know many students who did not do so well in PSLE but still excelled in the O levels and school after that.

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