If your kids are like mine, they are in the throws of state standardized testing. Testing that has likely left them frazzled, exhausted and counting down the days until summer. So, how to do you keep them and us from falling apart during this crazy time?
- Clear the schedule as much as possible (yours and theirs). Unless it is mandatory, remove it from the evening schedule. Kids need to go into testing well rested and a busy evening can almost guarantee that won’t happen. Instead of running the family ragged, play a board game, go to the park or watch a funny movie. This will allow them to go to bed relaxed rather than stressed.
- This is obvious but sometimes easy to push aside – a good breakfast with protein. They can return to their cereals packed full of sugar next week. They need brainpower this week. Eggs, meat, oatmeal or peanut butter are a few of the options to choose from. Oh, make sure you let your kids know you feeding them a brainpower breakfast. Just them thinking they’ve eaten something that will make them smart gives them a boost of confidence going into the test.
- Keep it in perspective. Trust me, your kids know how important these tests are. Their teachers have ensured this. Spend your evenings talking with your kids about their strengths, what makes them awesome and how much it will help them in life. A good portion of the stress from these tests comes as a result of pure old-fashioned test anxiety. They fear being labeled a failure. Anything you can do to boost their confidence going into the test will go a long way.
Kids play off of our emotions and when it comes to academics, this is particularly true when it comes to testing. So celebrate their efforts with an ice cream cone after school or a picnic in the living room and toss aside the stress and strain that would otherwise dominate.