Development of headache, anxiety, tension and stress during the examination season is what wedoctors call “performance anxiety”. The child is indeed scared that he may not live up to the your tall expectations and then fall in your grace.
The malady represents a classical mishandling of the child and his problems by the parents when the exams are round the corner. Years ago, a team of doctors and psychologists of the Child Health Study Group conducted a survey about the behaviour and attitudes of school-going children during the period of three months prior to the final exams. At least 60 per cent of the participants were found to suffer from performance anxiety. Half of the sufferers were cited as having exaggerated manifestations as was the case with your son. The survey report concludes that mishandling by the parents, especially the overindulgent mothers, plays a key role in the sorry state of affairs.
Admittedly, exams are a fact of life. All children who are supposed to assure their future must come to terms that these have to be faced. The parents’ anxiety whether the child is trying his utmost and whether he would make it to the top is quite understandable. But, in order that the child goes through a relaxed and healthier examination time, they must help the child.
Ensure a peaceful, relaxed atmosphere so that he can concentrate well on his studies rather than indulge in confrontations with the parents or grandparents. Your concern for the child is understandable but, for Heaven’s sake, don’t show signs of anxiety. This is likely to be passed to the child, adding to his problems.
Provide ample encouragement to the child. “You’re doing fine… if you make it like this, things may turn out still better” is a morale booster for the child and shows him the way to put his best foot forward. On the other hand, “O, you haven’t finished this much even till now. How bad!” can be a grave negative force.