Ask family expert: How to support your children during exams

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Q: My son is about to take his exams and I’m worried about his future if he doesn’t do well.

I’m also concerned that he’ll sense my anxiety and it’ll affect him. What should I do?

A: It’s only natural that parents will feel worried about the outcome of exams.

You’ll want your son to achieve and also not to feel upset over the outcome, whatever it may be.

However, it’s also important to remember his future isn’t dictated by grades on a piece of paper.

This can be difficult when his focus is narrow right now, but you can help him gain perspective.

Regardless of your own feelings, your role is to help your son prepare as best he can and feel as calm and confident as possible so he tackles his exams with a positive mindset.

Have perspective - remind your son that exams don’t decide his future and he’ll have options whatever the outcome.

Don’t be afraid to talk to your son about how he’s feeling, as he may allay your fears and he’ll be grateful for a listening ear.

Don’t micromanage - it’s up to your son to do his best.

Don’t fixate on what he’s doing or try to influence or control.

Give him space and encourage him to take a break for enjoyable activities to ease his mind.

Whether the outcome is better than expected, or not what you’d hoped for, your son will have many options.

Help him appreciate that we don’t all have to follow a fixed path, and adversity often leads to opportunities we can’t foresee.