TESTING: Parents get just as stressed as their children during exam time
EXAM TIME is one of the most stressful times of year, particularly with the weight of expectation that falls on children’s shoulders.
From form tutors to their future university, the pressure is on from the start. And it’s affecting young people’s mental health. One leading school in the UK is even thinking about scrapping homework for its pupils to give them some much needed time to themselves after lessons, and is training its teachers to spot the signs of anxiety and depression.
So it comes as no surprise that children currently sitting for their GCSEs and A Levels will be eagerly awaiting their conclusion at the end of the month.
But it seems that when it comes to the crunch, parents are just as invested in exam results as their children are.
Careers specialists How2Become.com asked 1,000 parents throughout the country about how much stress they feel during their children's exam time.
They found that nearly a quarter of parents get as stressed as their kids do. Of those, it’s the mums - perhaps typically - who worry more; with 24.1 per cent of mothers fretting about their offspring’s results, while dads are marginally more laid back, with only 22.6 per cent getting overly concerned.
However, nearly a third of parents admit to having lost sleep when exam time comes around. Seeing the pressure their children are under affects them too.
"Exams are universally acknowledged as a difficult time," said How2Become.com’s founder Richard McMunn.
"Everything a young person has worked towards for the past year is being assessed in a series of two- or three-hour examinations. And the results can directly affect their future career prospects."
McMunn added: "Parents understandably want their children to do well; but also have the wisdom and experience to know that it’s not the be-all and end-all. If they’re getting stressed too, it might add even more pressure onto the child."
Bearing in mind that some of the UK’s best businesspeople - like Sir Richard Branson or Sir Alan Sugar - didn’t go to university, or failed most of their exams, there is an argument for not placing so much emphasis on exam results when they come round in August.