How to keep the youth stress-free

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How to keep the youth stress-free

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 | Anuradha Rai

How to keep the youth stress-free

Is it possible to rethink upbringing? ANURADHA RAI tells you how all the stakeholders can contribute towards it

An informal survey revealed some very useful insights into an adolescent’s world. Comparisons with friends, how well prepared they are, parental expectations, peer pressure, need for approval, Pressure of social media with a need to stay connected and not be left behind, lack of sleep are some issues that came up.

Is there some way that we can rethink our upbringing and parenting? Do schools have a role to play? Can we prepare our youngsters so that the whole test taking experience becomes a stress-free experience? Let us look at the role of each stake-holders.

Role of school and the teachers: Even though the traditional schools based on the assembly line industrial model have served us well through the 19th and early 20th centuries, it is no longer relevant today. The changed demands of the times where employers are looking for well-rounded individuals, there is dire need to transform the school system.

By establishing a set of wide consistencies, schools need to create a productive learning community. Schools need to foster a growth mindset, and explicitly teach self- management skills. Rather than focus on the teaching content, the focus has to be on the process and on teaching how to learn. 

In order for our students to become good at test taking, we need to adequately equip them with study skills right from the early stage. To illustrate, a long answer requires global understanding whereas an objective type test requires attention to detail. Therefore, training students to recognise the strategies as per the text is important.

Students: While preparing for exams, one needs to balance and manage time well. Creating a plan by breaking the entire syllabus into smaller chunks that need to be accomplished on a daily basis and following up on the schedule, creating lists, taking and making notes, prioritising, having a fixed bed time and getting enough rest, limiting distractions by setting self -imposed limits, rewarding yourself and most importantly having a proper place to study are some suggestions to help one study.

While taking an exam one point to remember is to manage time well. As far as being able to complete a paper in time is concerned, typically questions have word limits so one must try to stick to those. In case you get stuck on a question do not waste time go on to other question and come back to it later.

If feeling anxious, taking a few deep breaths and using positive affirmations makes one feel better.Also, some of us need to have a scribe either because of a physical constraint or because of a limitation which would affect our test performance adversely and not reflect our actual abilities. Each one of us is unique and just accepting this and making use of all available resources is a sensible choice.

Parents: Parents have a very important role in helping build self-esteem and self -approval. They  need to realise that each child is unique with his or her own strengths. Celebrating this uniqueness, supporting the child in realising his/her dreams. Spending quality time, not comparing with other children or siblings, respecting individual point of views and perspectives, being open and transparent, ensuring supportive study spaces, prioritising or time management are some other ways in which parents can play a supportive role.  

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