While it’s important for your child to understand the importance of the test and interview process, expectations must be balanced so the child feels supported, not pressured, to succeed. Unrealistic expectations could create stress in both child and parent/s, leading to less than desired outcomes. Instead, try having meaningful conversations that encourage and support your child and ask them what help they need to succeed.
PLAN AND PREPARE
Planning and preparation are two very important things you can help your child with. Make sure you have a clear understanding of all requirements of your specific scholarship application process. Have the forms been completed? Does your child need to sit an exam, or prepare for an interview, or both? Perhaps he/she needs to put together a portfolio, or practise and perform at an audition? Plan out each requirement with plenty of time, so there is not a feeling of being rushed, rather a feeling of being ready.
A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP BOOSTS CONCENTRATION
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for optimum concentration. Quality of sleep is greatly affected by erratic blood sugar and insulin levels. An important way to balance these fluctuations in your child is to provide a good quality source of protein together with vegetables and healthy fats at the evening meal and eliminate night-time desserts or ‘treats’ which are high in sugar. Also switch off any electronic devices at least an hour before going to bed to help the mind transition to sleep more easily.
MEDITATION TO CALM THE MIND
Teaching your children simple meditation techniques such as closing their eyes and focusing on their breathing is extremely helpful. Low volume, soft music or a radio can often be enough to distract anxious thoughts when trying to go to sleep.
GET THE BLOOD PUMPING
Research shows strong evidence that regular exercise (at least 3 times a week) not only improves sleep but has a direct effect on reducing anxiety and improving concentration in children. It’s also a great way to clear their minds after a long day at school or as a break from study, but ensure exercise doesn’t occur too close to bedtime.
FUEL THE BODY WITH LONG LASTING ENERGY
Instead of a diet of processed and packaged foods which can be inflammatory, fill their plates and lunch boxes with nutritionally rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, good fats and protein. These foods are anti-inflammatory, regulate blood sugar levels and support healthy nervous system function. Boost concentration with a healthy breakfast, like a smoothie. Try mixing banana, strawberries, raspberries, yoghurt, full cream milk/almond milk with added pre-soaked oats. Some scrambled eggs with smashed avocado on whole-grain sourdough toast will also provide long-lasting energy.