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It's finals week: Help your child by doing little to nothing.

A great and proven way to get kids through exams is to allow them to take on the challenge exclusive of the extra pressure from peers or parents.  Children often excel and realize their accomplishments (or failures) more through their own work.

And why is this important? Because you want a resilient child.

Your role as a parent or guardian is to support his or her needs. Basically, leave them on his or her own for the actual studying sessions. Resilience, focus, inner strength - these terms, among others, describe what a child will need to attain throughout their development years. Confidence comes from preparation. Resilience comes from getting back up on your feet and learning from the fall.  Learning from failures and gaining confidence from achievements result in inner strength.

Parents or guardians may offer an arm's length distance assistance by providing the following leading to the finals:

  1. QUIET TIME. Give them space to study in their room or a place at the house. Offer a trip to the library or a quiet place for exclusive studying.
  2. TIMING.  Encourage and recognize the child's revised schedule (this might update some of the chores and family activities).
  3. EAT and CARB UP.  Studying utilizes increased brain and body activity. Add more healthy snacks and carbohydrates in between meals. No new food items that might upset the stomach. Hydrate.
  4. SLEEP. Naps and regular continuous overnight sleep should be encouraged. The brain and the body need to recharge.
  5. COMMUNICATE. Feel free to offer measured encouragement in between study sessions. Offer a sitdown just to chat or to listen to your child and break down the monotony of studying as needed.

Avoid phrases such as:

Positive reinforcement and support go a long way.  Good luck.  Another school year is about to be completed.


Marigold Castillo, M.D. Dr. Marigold "Dr. Gold" Castillo is a board-certified physician specialist practicing in Bayside, New York. She is an assistant professor of Pediatrics at Zucker School of Medicine of Hofstra/ Northwell. She focuses on personalized care in general pediatrics and adolescent medicine.

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