In our exam-oriented and result-focused school environment, it is common to find school-age children who have fear of failure and school anxiety. Our child became fear to their mistakes and poor grades will make them less acceptable as a person.
To help our child overcome their school anxiety and learn to cope with less-than-perfect results, the whole family must co-operate and show support for one another when mistakes and failures occur. This means parents must let children know what they really want from them. Children take their cues from adults. They learn their self-worth from how they are perceived by the people around them. School-age children like to be praised for what they have done.
The more they are praised for their high grades, the more they will focus their attention on getting them. They fear that they will no longer be loved if they do not do well in their exams. They become very upset when they are criticised.
Parents should encourage children to enjoy their learning experience rather than focus on results. Use more encouraging words to help your child realise that her effort and coping skills outweigh the grades they gets, in importance.
When your child is studying for a test, help them to differentiate what is important and what is not. Talk to them about how their learning helps them to be an independent person. They develops competency when they works at their tasks.
It is not easy for parents to show support for their children when they make mistakes.
We want our children to strive for excellence, yet we have to teach them how to accept mistakes and failures. The problem will persist if we continue to regard getting perfect scores in examinations as success. We have to help our children understand that they can also feel good about themselves when they make mistakes and learn from them. It is more important that they work at their personal best, rather than get perfect results.
To help children understand that mistakes can help them learn, we can try getting them to see that success comes from the many mistakes they make. Cite examples of the great men and women who failed many times before they succeeded.
Children can turn their mistakes into tools for learning rather than causes of failure.
Their self-worth should be based on their perseverance to work at their mistakes and not on the results. Parents must talk about their own failures and mistakes so that children can learn to accept their own mistakes and failures. Tell your children stories about the time you failed in your exams but were acknowledged for your hard work instead of being ridiculed for your poor results. You can also tell them how you managed your mistakes or the difficulties you had when you were confronted with a challenging task. Your experience will help your child learn ways to cope with their school tasks.
Hold family discussions on topics other than school work and encourage everyone in the family to share their feelings about what they enjoy doing. Acknowledge your child’s other abilities rather than just her academic achievements.
Children who have other interests outside school tend to develop more confidence and a positive attitude towards challenges. When your child is able to separate themselves from their school performance and see the person they really is, they will become less anxious when anticipating tests and competitions.
Together we will always be the best.