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 Post subject: Exam Panics
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:29 pm 
My otherwise confident and well-prepared son is now waking up several times a night with nightmares. Not only are both of us getting broken sleep but I fear it is exam nerves that are getting to him. I have discussed at length with large hugs and cuddles and he says he thinks it is the looming exam which is worrying him - but not during the day just inside his head. He is sitting for Wallington Grammar next Saturday and has achieved great results in all practice tests. He did however make some very silly errors on a maths test with his tutor last week and it seems to be playing on his mind. Everyone around him is telling him that he can only do his best and that it does not matter if he does not pass but he is not convinced. Any tips for the next 5 days (and nights) would be appreciated. ( What am I doing to him!)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:52 pm 
I really feel for you - and him!

My daughter normally enjoys tests, etc. but got into a big state before her year 5 "mock SATs". She claims she didn't sleep at all the night before the tests - even though we tried all the positive affirmations we could think of! And those tests really didn't matter at all!

However, it did prove one thing. She still did very well in the tests - even though she was exhausted. I think this was positive for her - because it proved that she still could do fine, even without sleep!

I'm sure the adrenalin will kick in on the day and I'm also sure worrying about not sleeping is one of the best ways of not sleeping... We now just accept that not sleeping is part of our daughter's make up. We'll still do the "relaxing bath before bed" routine, as we did when she was tiny, but know that if we pass her bedroom and see the light on in the middle of the night it's not the end of the world!

Sorry I can't be more helpful.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 6:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
In south east kent we are relatovely lucky.

We are one of teh few counties that still has state grammar schools, there is not teh huge pressure on teh children (althoughit is still scary) that there is in other counties like Bucks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 6:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11942
Hot chocolate or other warm drink with a sprinkling of 'magic' ingredient seems to work for us - of course the 'magic' is nothing real we just stir it so many times clockwise then anticlockwise ...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8203
Location: Buckinghamshire
I love that idea Guest55 - I would buy in sugar crystals - not just ordinary sugar, but those coffee crystals that you can get.

Ask the child how many crystals he needs - is this a one, two or three (etc) crystal hot choc. A sugar stress-ometer!

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:12 pm
Posts: 151
That is a super idea - I might even convince myself the magic crystals are real, I'd need about 10 though. My daughter's sleeping well, I'm the one having the nightmares!


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 Post subject: Nightmares
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:02 pm 
Hi BigH

I do feel for you and your son. My son was nervous but it was me who lost the sleep.

I do have a suggestion that may help. It is something I did with my kids with sleepless nights when they were small and that is change where he is sleeping. Maybe he could swap beds for the night or you could let him sleep in a spare room or another room. Anything that breaks the habit which is what dreaming can be. You could make it almost a fun thing by maybe letting him sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor in a different room, that way he is thinking about that when he goes to bed. Let him make up the bed himself,move his stuff in etc and whatever he normally does before change it eg if he reads suggest he listens to music instead or visa/versa

Hope it helps

Mel


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:40 pm
Posts: 966
silver29 - I am with you. My dc slept brilliantly throughout. I slept not a wink. other siblings were equally affected -


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:00 pm 
Thanks to everyone who has taken time to contribute to this thread. I am grateful to you all and will definately be taking your great advice from hot drinks to not worrying that every lost hour of sleep will reduce the chances of a successful exam experience. The worst is that this is only the first exam with last one not until second week in January. I am hoping that by then he will have returned to his "normal" ten year old self and will never fear an exam room again or just plain forgets the whole thing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:27 am 
I made sure my son still did all his clubs in the week running up to the exam (which was almost every night, including the night before exam) so his mind was kept busy on other things. He was already well prepared so not much revision required that week. Also we watched comedy the night before exam so plenty of laughs. He still looked like death that morning though so I'm sure he hadn't slept well all week. Didnt affect his performance though, he flew on the day!


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