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The Dreaded Final Exam

June brings final exams for students of all ages. Watching children go through this ritual can be as stressful for parents as for the students themselves. And that can be difficult. We want to get involved, to make sure they’re learning what they need to learn and that they understand all the implications of every fact they’re collecting.

But the actual studying and writing of exams is the responsibility of kids. You can’t do it for them! Odds are that you have already graduated elementary and high school. Now it’s their turn. Their education, their exams are just that - theirs.

However, you do have a role. There are some strategies parents can use to make exam time easier for their children.

• Give your children a break from personal responsibilities such as making lunch or doing the laundry.
• Reduce or eliminate any other household chores.
• Students with part-time jobs should take the month of June off. Parents can help by insisting on this.
• Prepare their favorite meals. Often students get into trouble by not eating properly.
• Quietly slip in while they’re working away and bring a cold drink and cookies (but don't talk!).
• Understand the need for and value of some leisure to reduce the stress, so don’t criticize her if she takes a break to watch a favourite TV show.

Reducing their household responsibilities not only gives them time to study, it also demonstrates in a concrete way your commitment to education. They see that you believe so strongly in their studying that you’re willing to take on extra work to allow them to focus on their primary task during exam time.

Studying is hard work. Understand when they are tired and encourage them to get enough sleep.

When they head off to school to write their exams, wish them luck.


Kathy Lynn is Canada’s leading speaker on parenting issues. She has helped thousands of parents to regain some order in their lives by improving their skills as parents. Visit her website at

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