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Charity offers top tips on beating stress of exams

PUBLISHED: 19:54 27 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:06 07 September 2010

By Ben McPartland PARENTS should not make their children do the washing up during exam time, a Kentish Town charity recommends. As any mother or father knows, this time of year can be extremely stressful and it is not just youngsters who have it tough.

By Ben McPartland

PARENTS should not make their children do the washing up during exam time, a Kentish Town charity recommends.

As any mother or father knows, this time of year can be extremely stressful and it is not just youngsters who have it tough.

The annual exam nightmare affects everyone in the family.

So Parentline Plus, based in Highgate Studios on Highgate Road, has come up with some top tips to ease the tension.

Area manager Valerie Outram said: "Children may feel under pressure from people at school and home when it comes to exams and the prospect of being tested can be overwhelming, especially if they feel they haven't done enough. Parents may watch their children struggling and be desperate to help but think themselves powerless to do so."

Their advice could spell good news for children, as the charity suggests adults should be more lenient with their kids when it comes to household chores.

Grown-ups should be more understanding when it comes to messy bedrooms, it suggests.

There should be no bribes - as children should be encouraged to work for their own satisfaction.

But small frequent rewards for success are acceptable.

Former Camden mayor Jill Fraser has seen two of her children put through the mill of exams and her daughter is currently preparing for her AS Levels. "My two young children live in a mess anyway. It's an ongoing thing. I only very occasionally get into an absolute spasm when I have to say 'clear up or clear out' to them," she said.

"It's a very stressful time, especially if they have A-Levels, which are the worst because if they don't get what they need then their future can be in a mess.

"The pressure shouldn't come from the parents though - it is the children who need to do well for whatever their goal is in life.

"But I always say they have to put the work in and watch less EastEnders."

Camden's youth council leader, Axel Landin, is currently taking his AS Levels at William Ellis school in Highgate, which is part of La Swap sixth form consortium. "I don't really have an exam strategy, it's all very slapdash from me," he said.

"Even though my parents are always very supportive, they still make me do my bit around the house.

"They get stressed but that's probably because I make them stressed. It's an anxious time but it is all over in two weeks."

Parents and carers wanting more information and support can call Parentline Plus' confidential helpline on 0808 800 22 22.

For more tips and information, check out the website at www.

parentlineplus.org.uk

ben.mcpartland@hamhigh.co.uk


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