Not just students, their parents too feel the heat


If sleepless nights, extra rounds of coffee and frequent Facebook breaks sound routine for students appearing for the CBSE board exams, parents are also having a tough time fighting off the exam stress.

“My expectations are running high as this is my son’s first board exam. But I am focusing on relieving him of stress by including fun elements in his timetable,” says Suparna Chatterjee, a teacher, whose son is appearing for the class 10 exams.

“When I realised both my son and I were getting worked up about the nearing exam, we had a day out at the nearest mall. We watched a movie and played games to take our minds off the exam,” she adds.

However with the setting in of the exams, parents are more worked up about giving nutritious food to their children. “I am always worried that my son is not getting enough nutrition. I looked up the internet and chalked out a diet chart for him,” says Snigdha Ahuja, a professional, whose son is appearing for his class 12 boards.

A high-protein diet usually works best, she adds. “Eggs, milk, dry fruit and sprouts are the top food items on my list,” she adds.

Aritri Dutta, a nutritionist, however, feels some parents have the tendency to overfeed their children during exams. “With the release of stress hormones in higher amounts, students usually lose their appetite. So ideally you should focus on providing your child with a balanced diet. While spicy and fried food should be avoided, lassi and coconut water can help release toxicity. Cashewnuts, walnuts being ‘brain-chargers’ should also be included in the diet,” she says.

Children should not be encouraged to drink either tea or coffee, the dietician adds.

As the CBSE exams for both classes 10 and 12 span over a month and a half, parents are also worried about their children losing their focus during this period. “Students tend to lose patience as the exams stretch for over a month. I keep on telling my son not to take it too easy. However, I also encourage him to take short breaks so that he doesn’t find studying monotonous,” says Anumeha Roy, a homemaker. Her son is a student of Commerce.

“Staying up late at night is an absolute no-no too. I have tried to enforce some discipline by insisting he wakes up early to study,” Roy adds.

 According to Sameer Kalani, psychiatrist at Cosmos Institute of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, there is a rise in number of cases in which parents often avoid discussing exams with their children.

“This is because of sensitivity from media reports on children committing suicides because of exam pressure. What we suggest is parents should neither be over-involved nor avoid the topic of exam completely. Lend them an ear and gauge what your child is going through. Also, make sure that your child is discussing her problems with you and not with her peers. The latter may not yield the best results,” Kalani says.

Another problem noticed nowadays is that children are hyper about maintaining their figures. “Children between the age-group of 16-18 are so conscious that they eliminate carbohydrates from their meals. While we encourage students appearing for their boards to eat fruit, sprouts and salad, carbohydrates are also must. Examinees often have problem recalling answers if they don’t include rice and chapattis in their diet,” he adds.

Munching on jaggery and sweets will also help children remain healthy during exams, the psychiatrist says.

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